Arkansas Highway Officials Delay Broadway Bridge Replacement

Mar 9, 2016

Work to prepare the site in the Arkansas River where the Broadway Bridge will be replaced, as seen February 20.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas highway officials are delaying plans to close the 93-year-old bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock until this fall at the earliest. 

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Director Scott Bennett speaking to reporters during a press conference Tuesday.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Highway and Transportation Director Scott Bennett told reporters Wednesday the state had initially hoped to close the Broadway Bridge by May or June as part of its $98 million project to replace the span. He said the six-month closure of the bridge could occur as early as this fall or as late as next summer.

Bennett blamed the delay on high water on the Arkansas River in recent months and challenges in fabricating steel for the new bridge.

He said the delay won't increase the cost of replacing the bridge, a busy commuter route. In 2014, the bridge handled 24,000 vehicles daily.