LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Broadway Bridge, which has served as one of the major connectors of Little Rock and North Little Rock for 93 years, will officially close at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, as the project to build a new bridge enters its last phase.
The approximately 25,000 motorists who travel the Broadway Bridge each day will need to utilize alternate routes and adjust their commute schedules for the 6 months it is expected to take to install the new bridge. The bridge closure extends from the intersection of Highway 70 and West Markham Street (at Robinson Auditorium and City Hall) on the Little Rock side to the Highway 70 and West Broadway Street intersection (at Dickey Stephens Ballpark) in North Little Rock.
While several alternate paths exist, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has designated the Main Street Bridge (Highway 5) the official alternate route.
The City of Little Rock’s Public Works Department has been preparing for the bridge closure for months and will begin implementing changes to mitigate traffic issues. Those include:
- Modifying the Scott Street traffic signals during rush hours to extend the amount of time for motorists travelling north/south
- Coordinating with the City of North Little Rock on traffic signals
- Converting Scott Street from 5th to 6th streets from a one-way road to a two-way one
The cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are urging motorists to be patient for the next few months while the downtown areas experience increased traffic congestion. Officials are advising that people build in more time for travel between the two cities during the busy commute times and try to modify schedules to avoid the heaviest traffic periods during weekdays.
Another option is to utilize public transit. Rock Region METRO runs five fixed routes and two express routes across the Arkansas River. Additionally, the transit agency will run METRO Streetcar service and operate a “streetcar shuttle” across the Main Street Bridge between Verizon Arena and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce from 7 a.m. – 9 am. and from 3:45 – 6:30 p.m. weekdays.
A special decommissioning ceremony will take place at 10:45 on the bridge. The Arkansas Army National Guard, assisted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, will join the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and local officials for the ceremony.
After the decommissioning ceremony, one final convoy will cross the bridge with the procession of Arkansas State Highway Commissioners being the last to go across, a nod to the 1922 opening.