LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department officials Tuesday continued to warn truckers to avoid using southbound Interstate 430 Wednesday when the highway will be reduced at times to one lane to accommodate moving an exit.
Interstate 430 runs through west Little Rock and is a major connector of Interstate 40 and Interstate 30.
It is also a major thoroughfare for local residents commuting to work in Little Rock from Maumelle, Ark., just north of the Arkansas River and from Conway, Ark., located some 20 miles north of the I-430/I-40 interchange.
The southbound lanes need to shift to accommodate the next stage of construction of the I-430/I-630 interchange. After the shift is completed, this traffic pattern will remain in place for approximately four to five weeks. Three southbound lanes into the interchange are currently in place and will remain after the transition, but lane widths will be reduced, and the advisory speed will be 40 mph through the area.
The work Wednesday will begin at 9 a.m. and last for 18-21 hours. There is a 40 percent change of rain in the Little Rock area Wednesday. AHTD officials said while the rain would not stop the work, it might cause the closures to extend beyond 18-21 hours.
A spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette he could not rule out the possibility that drivers will encounter a Little Rock version of “Carmageddon,” the name of a video game and the term coined for recent projects on congested Southern California highways.
“It very well could be,” spokesman Glenn Bolick said. “We are doing our best to inform people not to even try it.”
Bolick told The Trucker that the department was trying its best to warn locals to stay off the road, adding that if they didn’t, traffic could back up all the way to Conway.
The lane shift will allow workers to build a pier to support the steel beams that are being used on the new flyover that will take traffic from I-430 south to I-630 east.
Truckers needing to go from I-40 to I-30 can bypass the construction work by taking I-40 into North Little Rock, Ark., and connect with I-30 there.
All three I-430 northbound lanes will remain open throughout Wednesday.
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