From the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department:
LITTLE ROCK (2-14) - Major traffic pattern changes are being implemented this weekend at the Big Rock Interchange (I-430/I-630) in Little Rock, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials. The changes will affect motorists on I-630, Financial Centre Parkway, and Shackleford Road, and will involve lane closures, the movement of traffic to newly constructed travel lanes, and the restriction of the left turn movement from westbound I-630 to southbound Shackleford Road.
Beginning at 6:00 a.m. Sunday, February 17 and continuing through the day, motorists will encounter lane closures on I-630 eastbound and westbound, Financial Centre Parkway between Shackleford and Hermitage Roads, and Shackleford Road near its intersection with Financial Centre Parkway. At times, travel will be restricted to one lane in each direction during this process.
These lane closures are necessary to allow workers to re-stripe the roadway and install barriers that will be needed to re-direct traffic to newly constructed travel lanes. Once the re-striping is complete, motorists traveling westbound on I-630 and westbound on Financial Centre Parkway will be on new pavement located to the outside of the existing travel lanes.
Once this occurs, the following traffic patterns will be in place and will stay in place through this summer:
Baptist Health Medical Center Interchange
Access to the Baptist Health Medical Center from I-630 will remain open in both directions of travel; however, the ability to access I-630 westbound from the hospital campus will be temporarily rerouted through the summer.
Motorists wishing to access I-630 westbound from the Baptist Health Medical Center will be directed to take I-630 eastbound from the hospital campus and travel to the Barrow Road exit (Exit 6B), cross over the Interstate and get back onto I-630 westbound from Barrow Road.
Lanes will shift onto new pavement beginning at the Baptist Health Medical Center overpass (Exit 7). Three lanes of traffic will be maintained westbound until the I-430 North exit (Exit 8A). From that point, only two travel lanes will continue westward and continue across Shackleford Road onto Financial Centre Parkway.
No left turn will be allowed from westbound I-630 to southbound Shackleford Road during this phase of construction, which will last through the summer. Motorists intending to travel from westbound I-630 to southbound Shackleford Road will be directed to take I-430 South (Exit 8B) to the Shackleford/Kanis Road exit (Exit 5).
Other than the lane closures needed for re-striping this Sunday, no major changes will occur in this direction at this time. However, major lane shifts will be announced at a later date and will take place during the spring.
These significant changes are necessary at this time to provide the contractor room to begin work on the next stages of construction in the area. This will include the construction of an overpass over Shackleford Road that connects Financial Centre Parkway to I-630, as well as the connection of flyover ramps from I-430 to I-630.
"We urge motorists to be very attentive to these changes," said AHTD Director Scott Bennett. "What you see in place going home from work Friday won't be the same as what you'll see in place when you return to work next week. We know these changes affect the travel patterns for many; however, these changes should not discourage people from visiting the local shops, restaurants and other businesses near the interchange. We're asking motorists to be patient and find alternate routes to reach those businesses."
Message boards, detours and advisory speeds will be posted throughout the area. The $125 million interchange modification project will continue through 2014.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department reminds motorists to exercise extreme caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones. Travelers are encouraged to determine the impact this work will have on their daily travel schedule and plan accordingly.