LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News release) - The new U.S. Highway 70 (Broadway) Bridge crossing the Arkansas River opened to traffic Wednesday night at approximately 9:30 p.m., according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.
Earlier today crews completed preparations that included sweeping, striping and installation of signage. The new river crossing opens 152 days into the 180-day closure period contractor Massman Construction included in its $98.4 million bid to replace the Broadway Bridge.
Immediately available for north-south vehicular traffic only, Massman will spend the following weeks completing the tie-in of the southbound off-ramp that will carry traffic to westbound State Highway 10. Additionally, the 16-foot shared-use path will not open for several weeks as Massman works to tie-in ramps on both sides of the river to the Arkansas River Trail. Further announcements will be made as these features are completed and ready to open.
Commuters will access the new bridge in the same traffic patterns as they did for the old bridge. Motorists are advised to allow extra time in their commutes across the new structure as the AHTD anticipates significant interest in driving the river crossing for the first time. Additionally, alternating daily lane closures will occur on the bridge during off-peak times (outside of commute hours and on weekends) as the contractor works to complete miscellaneous items.
Early completion of the 180-day closure period qualifies Massman for incentives of $80,000 per day. Calculations of the actual amount as well as the final total cost of the project will be announced at a later date.
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