LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — UPDATE: ARDOT will be delaying the I-430 bridge closure this weekend due to the threat of winter weather.
The bridge over the Arkansas River will be closed next weekend from Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. to about 5 a.m. on Monday, March 1.
A huge inconvenience will take place for drivers who frequently cross the I-430 bridge over the Arkansas River. It will be closed off to traffic this Valentine’s Day weekend.
"Avoid this coming weekend for sure if you can,” said Dave Parker, the Public Information Officer for the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
Starting Friday night at around 8 p.m. all southbound lanes and all, but one, northbound lanes will be shut down. They will reopen at 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Cantrell Highway will remain open the entire time.
“We got large steel beams, cranes will be working, so obviously for safety reasons we have to shut down the road,” said Parker.
It’s something that is going to greatly impact the Zone Mart in Maumelle, according to the owner, Shohel Rahman.
“We have good traffic business especially Friday and Saturday, and since the bridge will be closed, we are not going to have any traffic and that’s going to hurt our business,” said Rahman.
Rahman said he expects to see a multi-thousand-dollar profit loss with the bridge closure.
“Friday, I’m assuming at least three to four thousand dollars, each day,” said Rahman.
Rahman also said this loss couldn’t come at a worse time.
“Corona is already hit our business tremendously bad, and on top of that, that’s going to affect us,” said Rahman.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation said compared to the other options, this is what the department considers will be better for everyone.
“The alternative would have been to shut down this area for seven to ten nights, for an hour and a half at a time,” said Parker.
The department said closing the bridge altogether will cause fewer traffic issues in the long run, making it easier for drivers to cross the bridge.
“Everybody knows it’s going to be a time-consuming deal and we have to just deal with it. But when it’s done we are going to be appreciating the fact that we have wider roads and more lanes and traffic is going to be a lot better,” said Parker.