BRIDGE WORK: A photo shows prep work underway for replacement of the Broadway Bridge in the background.
The six-month closure of the Broadway Bridge
to complete replacement work has been delayed indefinitely by high water on the Arkansas River and construction problems, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department
announced at a news conference this morning.
No new time frame was announced for the closure. Previously, officials had predicted a closure as soon as May and completion of the project by January 2017. Work is well underway on parts to be moved to put in place when the bridge is closed and the old structure removed.
The Highway Department said the development won't mean a cost increase nor will it have any impact on the 30 Crossing project to expand Interstate 30 through downtown, a project that includes replacing the I-30 bridge over the Arkansas River. That project has not yet cleared the environmental review process and significant local opposition has arisen to the state's plan for a 10-lane freeway through the middle of Little Rock. No construction timetable has been firmed up.
The Highway Department release on the Broadway bridge said:
High water events on the Arkansas River last summer and challenges in steel fabrication related to the complexity of the new twin-arch structure will prohibit the contractor from beginning the 180-day closure period as scheduled. A more specific timeframe for the closure will be announced at a later date.
Massman Construction Co. of Kansas City, Missouri, was awarded a $98.4 million construct in September 2014 to replace the Broadway Bridge. Much work will continue in the coming months that will better position the contractor for the closure period. In the meantime, steel beams and other materials will continue to arrive on the job site and over the summer the public will begin to see the twin arches take shape as they are assembled on nearby staging barges.