LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Broadway Bridge connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock is now closed. It will remain closed for six months while its replaced.
“The iconic bridge will be something for our citizens to be proud of for decades to come,” said North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department closed the bridge at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The closure ended with a ceremony with members of the State Highway Commission and local leaders.
“We think in the end, its going to be a new bridge, showcase, not just for downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock, but for the state of Arkansas, but to put it simply, it’s time,” said Director of Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Dept., Scott Bennett.
About 25,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day. Now, drivers are searching for alternate routes. The Main Street Bridge is the designated detour. Smith expects half of drivers to switch to the Main Street Bridge and advised drivers to go around, not through when commuting by taking I-440 or I-430.
“In six months we’re going to have a new bridge that will include a pedestrian and bike lane. That will include more opportunities to bring our communities together,” said Smith. “Until then, we’re going to have the worst traffic event we’ve ever had.”
Workers wasted no time with the demolition process. They began working as soon as the ceremony ended. The current bridge will be demolished in stages. The new bridge is already being worked on to make for a quick replacement.