LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Nearly one hundred thousand vehicles a day travel through the I-430/630 interchange and starting next week, major construction changes will make it even more congested.
Earlier this month, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department asked drivers to stay away for a day when it came to the Big Rock Interchange. But now, they're suggesting staying away for twenty days as they begin putting the steel beams in place for one of the fly over ramps, a process that is sure to bring even more congestion to already heavily trafficked area.
"Contractors are going to be working around the clock. Start thinking now about alternate routes to your destination," says Randy Ort with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department says starting next week, Big Rock could be a big problem for drivers.
"Right now, you have three lanes of travel if you're coming southbound through the Rodney Parham road interchange. Beginning next Thursday you're only going to have two lanes of through traffic," says Ort.
It is a problem that doesn't necessarily concern Rosemary Harris.
"Just do it when I have to. When you retire, you just go home, sit down, watch T.V. and go when you have to," says Harris.
Those that have to -- Ort says -- should be extra cautious.
"They need to understand that if they go through the interchange in the morning, when they come back in the afternoon, conditions may be different. There's going to be multiple lane closures as we have to restripe the roadway and move traffic lanes to another location. That's going to happen seven times in that twenty day period," says Ort.
A little inconvenience, Harris says, for a lot of progress in the end.
"I think it will be very nice. I might have to have somebody carry me but anyway it'll be nice," says Ort.
Randy Ort tells me I-430 southbound will be the most affected throughout that 20 day process but also two of the loop ramps that access I-630 will be closed at times as well as the north bound lanes of I-430. The highway department suggests using Markham Street if you are heading east or west on I-630. The 24 hour construction begins next Thursday, July 19th at 9 a.m.