Shaffer


Sponsored By:

   The Nation  |  Business  |  Equipment  |  Features


I-40 widening project wrapping at Conway, Ark.

Crews have begun work on the next phase of the project, about four miles south to Palarm Creek. The $12.1 million phase is expected to be complete in spring 2014. No bridges are included in that phase. Next spring, construction companies are to submit bids for work on the I-40 interchange with Interstate 430.

The Associated Press

8/5/2013

CONWAY, Ark.   Conway's nearly eight-mile portion of the Interstate 40 widening project is nearing completion.

The Conway stretch is expected to be completed by the end of the year, Arkansas highway officials said. But it will take several years before the rest of the $135 million project between Conway and North Little Rock — 23 miles — is done.

"For the city (of Conway) itself, for those who don't commute, we'll be out of their hair soon," Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department spokesman Danny Straessle said.

Construction crews are building the new lanes in the median, so existing traffic lanes don't have to be blocked to accommodate the work.

Work began in January 2012, and Straessle said construction, including rebuilding five bridges, has gone swiftly.

"For that number of bridges, that's good," he said. "Bridges take longer with so many intricacies involved."

The segment wrapping up in Conway runs from the Skyline Drive exit to just south of the proposed Conway bypass interchange, the Log Cabin Democrat reported (http://is.gd/3CgJet ).

"We've had some delays (during rush hour) due to high volume, which is nothing new for that area," Straessle said. "With improvements, that should help move more volume, more effortlessly."

Phases of the project that are not federally funded will get the money from a half-cent sales tax approved by Arkansas voters that was implemented July 1, Straessle said. The tax will be in force for 10 years and will be devoted to road and highway projects across the state.

Jamie Gates, Conway Chamber of Commerce senior vice president, said the project will help Conway residents and people who do business in the city.

"It's going to accommodate the growth that is coming," Gates said. "It connects us efficiently with the region, and it makes us a more attractive destination, regionally. For those with a commuter in the family, it's going to make Conway a more attractive option."

Crews have begun work on the next phase of the project, about four miles south to Palarm Creek. The $12.1 million phase is expected to be complete in spring 2014. No bridges are included in that phase. Next spring, construction companies are to submit bids for work on the I-40 interchange with Interstate 430.

"It's safe to say by 2015, there will be a lot of construction between (Conway and North Little Rock)," Straessle said.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

Find more news and analysis from The Trucker, and share your thoughts, on Facebook.