Closings on Main St. bridge in Jacksonville prompting drivers to cut corners

Drivers driving off road in Jacksonville after road closures

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Road closures on a bridge in Jacksonville are prompting some drivers to take dangerous turns off of Highway 67/167.

Jacksonville closed down the Main Street ramp Wednesday night and Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher said it is a heavily used exit. He also said Redmond Road just recently opened backup, but most people do not know about it.

“So, now they're in a situation where they're forced to come down the freeway and take another exit," Fletcher said.

The closings on the Main Street bridge are making some drivers turn off the highway, onto the grass, and into oncoming traffic on the parallel access road.

"People are making an off ramp where there's not one, people are coming up into two way traffic, head on," Fletcher said. "It's not very smart some of the things I've seen [Thursday] afternoon."

The mayor eventually called in for help from the Jacksonville and Arkansas State Troopers to help take control of the situation.

"Just in one hour here in the few minutes they could spend here, they wrote up 10 people and in that hour they had to leave several times to go answer citizens’ complaints or calls," Fletcher said.

Multiple officers were called to help patrol and pulled over everyone who jumped the curb.

"The way they exit off, if there's a vehicle driving on the access road, if they don't see that vehicle, they're not expecting somebody to come through that median and they'll just collide," Jacksonville Police Officer Johnny Hicks said.

Hicks said police mostly gave out warnings, but will begin to give out citations if the trend continues.

“It's not worth your life coming off that median, you're endangering yourself and other people as they're driving," Hicks said.

Fletcher said he hopes people will begin driving a little safer once they become more aware of the situation.

"I'm hoping that maybe after today, people will start taking the Redmond road exit. If you want to take the main street exit, go ahead and take the first exit, James street, get off the freeway and then disperse through the side streets," Fletcher said.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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