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Broadway Bridge to Reopen Next Week

2 min read

The Broadway Bridge over the Arkansas River that connects the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock is set to open to north-south traffic next week, about a month earlier than planned.

The Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department announced on Wednesday that contractor Massman Construction Co. of Kansas City, Missouri, had not yet determined a specific time for the opening but work had progressed well throughout the unseasonably warm winter months.

The Highway Department has scheduled a ceremonial first crossing media-only event for 3:30 p.m. Monday. 

Arkansas Highway Commissioners, Highway Department Director Scott Bennett, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde, North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola are expected to participate.

Massman included a 180-day schedule to reopen the crossing along with an incentive/penalty clause of $80,000 per day in its $98.4 million contract to replace the bridge. The incentive may be paid for a maximum of 50 days, although no such limit was placed on the penalty.

The bridge closed on Sept. 28, so Massman could stand to gain between $2.16 million and $2.48 million if it opens between 12 a.m. Monday and 12 a.m. next Friday, March 3.  

Danny Straessle of the state Highway Department told Arkansas Business that the deadline to open the bridge was March 30. He explained that Massman could not earn the incentive for March 30.

According to a news release, Massman Construction Co. will spend the next few weeks completing the tie-in of the southbound off-ramp that will carry traffic to westbound Highway 10.

The 16-foot shared-use path will not open for several weeks as the contractor works to tie in ramps on both sides of the river to the Arkansas River Trail.

There will also be occasional lane closures during off-peak times as miscellaneous tasks are completed.  

The Highway Department has scheduled a ribbon-cutting and commissioning for 4 p.m. on April 6 in the west parking lot across from Dickey-Stephens Park. The public is invited attend the celebration.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Video

This week, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette photographer Stephen B. Thornton published drone footage of the bridge.

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