The Beautification Section was established in response to the Federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965, which required states to provide enforcement of billboard and junkyard control measures or risk the loss of Federal Highway funding. The Section operates under the authority of Act 640 of the 1967 Arkansas Legislature, and Arkansas State Highway Commission Minute Order 72-6, dated January 26, 1972. This Minute Order directed the Department to enforce the Federal and State Acts along designated highways within the state; consequently, the Beautification Section was created to oversee its implementation. The Beautification Section has five basic areas of responsibility: billboard control, junkyard control, Logo signing, Tourist information signing, and vegetation cutting near billboards.
The Beautification Section administers the Department’s Billboard Control Program by issuing permits to allow billboard construction, and collecting fees associated with the permit process. The section also identifies and coordinates the removal of illegal signs and/or billboards. Junkyard control is the second area of responsibility, and the Beautification Section works to screen or shield junkyards from the view of motorists, working with the Legal Division when necessary to maintain compliance. The Specific Services (Logo) Signing Program was added to the Section’s responsibilities in 1988. The Section works in conjunction with the Maintenance Division to provide signing information for motorists along freeway routes. Signing categories include: Gas, Food, Lodging, Camping and Tourist Attractions. The Beautification Section issues permits, maintains records, and collects fees for the program.
The Tourist Oriented Directional Signing (TODS) Program is also administered by the Beautification Section. This program provides signing along non-freeway routes to assist travelers in finding businesses to assist them. The categories include: Gas, Vehicle Repair, Food, Lodging, Camping and Tourist Attractions. The Beautification Section issues permits, maintains records, and collects fees for this program. The last area of responsibility of the Beautification Section is the Restore Sign Visibility Program (RSVP). This program was designed to allow billboard owners to cut vegetation on the state right-of-way to enhance the visibility of billboards where the growth of trees has become a problem. The Beautification Section checks each request to assure that the sign qualifies, collects fees, and works with District personnel to guarantee compliance.
To request records call (501) 569-2088.