I-40 to get additional lanes in central Arkansas
The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will add two lanes in both directions to a section of I-40 between Interstate 430 in North Little Rock and U.S. Highway 65 in Conway.
The Trucker Staff
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It seems like only yesterday that a trip through Arkansas on Interstate 40 meant miles and miles of orange barrels as the state rebuilt a majority of its interstate highway system.
Now yesterday is today as the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department adds two lanes in both directions to a section of I-40 between Interstate 430 in North Little Rock and U.S. Highway 65 in Conway.
The bad news is the phased project could last until 2016.
The good news the current lanes will remain open most of the time during construction.
The first job includes widening I-40 from two to four lanes in Faulkner County from Highway 65 east for 8.2 miles.
That project is already under way at a cost of $44.7 million.
The rest of the I-40 widening is planned in three more phases: Palarm Creek west for 5 miles, Palarm Creek east to U.S. Highway 365 for 4.3 miles and U.S. Highway 365 east to I-430 for 5.6 miles.
Construction costs are estimated at over $90 million to complete the three remaining sections. Depending on available funding, the remaining projects could be let to contract by 2013 and completed by the end of 2016.
Average daily traffic volumes range from between 31,000 vehicles west of Conway to 75,000 vehicles near I-430.
Trucks make up about 18 percent of the traffic.
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