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Hole goes clear through Cantrell Road viaduct

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published March 8, 2013 at 9:46 a.m. Updated March 8, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.


A car drives past a hole on the Cantrell Road viaduct in Little Rock Friday morning.

An iPhone is pictured on the ground next to a hole in the Cantrell Road viaduct to offer perspective on its size.

Motorists driving west on the Cantrell Road viaduct near Little Rock's Riverdale neighborhood may have felt quite a jolt Friday after a sizable hole developed in one lane of the elevated roadway.

The hole, which appeared to be a couple feet in diameter and went clear through, was reported about 8:30 a.m. in the right-hand lane of the viaduct, which runs over railroad tracks and the Arkansas River Trail just west of Episcopal Collegiate School. There were no preliminary reports of damage to any vehicles, though police reportedly responded after getting multiple calls from motorists.

By 9 a.m., a Little Rock Police Department patrol car had parked in front of the hole, preventing vehicles from driving on it.

Danny Straessle, a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation, said the lane is expected to remain closed until about 3 p.m. while a crew pours new concrete to patch the hole.

"This particular bridge is a very old one," he said. "It's just an old bridge that has seen better days."

Straessle said such holes do happen on occasion and aren't a sign that the structural integrity of the span is flawed.

"Just think of it as a big pot hole," he said. "You're not used to being able to see through the bridge deck. It makes it a little more scary than it is."


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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

LevyRat says... March 8, 2013 at 10:13 a.m.

They should get County Judge Buddy Villines to patch it up and paint it Red, White and Blue!

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RBBrittain says... March 8, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.

The hole is actually on the NEWER side of that overpass; according to a database taken from the National Bridge Inventory (reported to the Feds by AHTD), the original structure (now the eastbound lanes) was built in 1930, while the westbound lanes were added in 1961. But that doesn't surprise me; the older side of both Cantrell viaducts (eastbound here, westbound over UPRR between Cross & Dillard's) has looked to be in better shape than the newer side for many years now. Yes, sometimes the REALLY old school is still the best...

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drs01 says... March 8, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

Why is it that our government lets these roadbeds get to this state before they do anything? Does anyone know where I can file a claim for front alignment and possible other damage this pothole caused to a vehicle last night? Is it the city, the county or the state?

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YoungHog says... March 8, 2013 at 1:35 p.m.


when u file that claim.. let me know what happens with that one.. :-)

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TheBatt says... March 8, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.

Yet another example of the screwy priorities in Central Arkansas. We seem to have no problem spending massive sums to replace a bridge that is in better shape than this one...

Another bit that is being overlooked - where are the bridge inspections and the regular maintenance?

I guess that sales tax increase has really helped in this case... right along with thy skyrocketing crime rate.

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djigoo says... March 8, 2013 at 3:41 p.m.

Isn't that also State Highway 10? I'm glad the Ledge has been ignoring infrastructure in favor of wasting time and money on passing ridiculous and unconstitutional regulations. You embarrass me, Arkansas.

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MBAIV says... March 8, 2013 at 4:22 p.m.

Ha Ha Ha. That bridge is the old Lincoln Avenue Viaduct - part of State Hwy 10. Any claim goes to the State Claims Commission. Good luck. And don't look at the underside of the bridge (actually two bridges built at different times) - you may not want to drive over it after that glance. It is long past time to replace it - but I haven't seen in on any list and the county is using all of its 'extra' money on such things as mulit-color bridges and trolley tracks, so no help there. The city is busy buying cameras making poor pothole patches. So we wait on the state - or collapse.

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LR1955 says... March 8, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.

"And don't look at the underside of the bridge..." because there are a few hobos living under that viaduct.

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RBBrittain says... March 8, 2013 at 8:40 p.m.

AHTD issued a press release, but were awfully vague: First, they referred to it as "maintenance" and "repair work" -- NOT an emergency pothole fix. Second, they called it "Highway 10" three times (expected from AHTD), "LaHarpe Boulevard" twice (LaHarpe ends at Cross!!!), and "Lincoln Viaduct" once (it was Lincoln Avenue till about 1960); but NEVER Cantrell. Finally, they said the viaduct was "between Dillard's Headquarters and Episcopal Collegiate School", but that's impossible -- they're across the street from each other on a viaduct-free stretch of Cantrell. (It's west of ECS, as the article says.)
Meanwhile, it's well after 3 PM; did it get fixed? I don't wanna have to drive down Cantrell to find out...

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