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Icy I-440 bridge makes for messy morning commute

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published December 12, 2012 at 6:38 a.m. Updated December 12, 2012 at 9:59 a.m.


Crews respond to multiple wrecks on the I-440 river bridge just after 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials say the I-440 river bridge in Little Rock, seen here in this Google Map, has been closed because of icy conditions.

— Icy conditions on the Interstate 440 river bridge caused major traffic problems Wednesday after multiple wrecks on the span.

The bridge was closed in both directions at times while crews cleared accidents from the crossing, though emergency vehicles left the scene about 7:45 a.m. Traffic then began to resume normal flow.

Dispatchers said at least five wrecks were reported by 6:30 a.m. and crews could be seen working several new ones at 7:15 a.m. Traffic, meanwhile, was moving across the bridge at a crawl at that point, causing significant backups in both directions.

Police reportedly called in Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department trucks to treat the slick surface.

It wasn't clear how serious any of the wrecks were.

Later, the North Little Rock Police Department said shortly before 10 a.m. that officers were working several accidents on the north end of the Main Street Bridge, which crosses the Arkansas River. Authorities asked that drivers avoid this area and choose an alternate route.

The National Weather Service said patchy, freezing fog is possible across much of the state before sunrise. Such fog can limit visibility and "deposit a thin layer of ice on bridges and overpasses," the weather service said.

"If traveling this morning, use caution and slow down if you encounter any fog ... especially on overpasses and bridges," the agency said in a statement.

Traffic in other parts of the Little Rock metro area was slowed too. Southbound traffic from North Little Rock to Little Rock inched along a very foggy Main Street Bridge, causing a backup that extended all the way to Curtis Sykes Drive at 8:15 a.m.


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