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Arkansas’ longest serving highway commissioner died



Arkansas – According to family members, Bobby Hopper died Friday.

89-year-old, Hopper, of Springdale, was the longest serving highway commissioner in Arkansas history.
In 1983, he was appointed by Gov. Bill Clinton and served on the Arkansas Highway Commission until 1999.

“Bobby was a remarkable person — a good man, a great friend, a model citizen, and one of the finest and most effective highway commissioners ever,” Clinton said in a statement issued Saturday.

During his tenure, Hopper was also the first commissioner to serve two terms as chair of the commission. “The impact of Bobby’s work on the highway commission to Northwest Arkansas’ economic and social development is still flourishing today,” according to a statement from his family. “He centered on his dream that Northwest Arkansas could be a global leader if only the region’s transportation system could support it.

“His dream was fulfilled with the opening of Interstate 49. The interstate included a dual tunnel to ensure motorists could easily navigate through the region’s beautiful Boston Mountains. This tunnel was the first highway tunnel in the state. The commission honored Bobby by naming the tunnel the ‘Bobby Hopper Tunnel.'”

Hopper also served on the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. He donated land for a city park in Springdale that is named Bobby Hopper Park.