Travel in Arkansas I-40 work zone heavy; officials urge taking detour
The rehabilitation of existing westbound and eastbound I-40 lanes through a 10-mile section located near the White River bridge where the highway was flooded during heavy rains just over one year ago. (Associated Press)
The Trucker News Services
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Summertime travel has increased and congestion through the Interstate 40 work zone in Prairie County in east Arkansas has become heavy, according to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD).
It’s a traffic pattern that is expected to continue throughout the summer.
Transportation officials are urging motorists, and especially truckers, to “Know the RED?Zones” before they travel and to consider using alternate routes before traveling I-40 between Little Rock and West Memphis.
The $56 million Interstate project includes rehabilitation of existing westbound and eastbound I-40 lanes through a 10-mile section located near the White River bridge where the highway was flooded during heavy rains just over one year ago.
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During peak driving times, over 40,000 vehicles, including hundreds of tractor-trailers, travel this area each day, according to highway officials. Estimated completion for construction is summer 2013.
“We want motorists to be aware that the construction zone is there and to plan accordingly,” said Scott Bennett, AHTD Director. “Whether a driver chooses to stay on I-40 or use an alternate route, it’s going to take longer to travel between North Little Rock and West Memphis. Be aware of that, and factor it into your travel plans.”
Traffic control personnel and a Motorist Assistance Program (MAP) vehicle are on site 24/7. Real time information of incidents by way of message boards and highway advisory radio channels are provided, and the MAP team assists with minor vehicle incidents. But AHTD officials remind travelers that these services are provided only inside the work zone.
Know the RED?Zones is an AHTD public awareness campaign that highlights highway construction projects with significantly reduced capacity. Alternate routes, travel tips and project information can be found under the RED?Zones icon on the AHTD web page at www.ArkansasHighways.com.
A map of the construction zone area can be found by clicking here.
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