The Hot Springs Police Department is now allowing northbound vehicular traffic on Central Avenue to travel throughout most of the downtown area.
Central Avenue was closed in the downtown area after a massive fire consumed the original Majestic Hotel Thursday night.
The fire, which began around 5:30 p.m., appeared to have started in the center section of the fifth floor of the original hotel building, which was built in 1882, and then spread to the north and south ends of the building and lower floors as the blaze burned through floors and ceilings.
Motorists will be able to turn left onto Whittington Avenue, travel throughout Whittington Avenue, and return to Central Avenue by turning right and traveling southbound. Northbound motorists will not be able to turn right from Central Avenue onto Park Avenue, the city said in a news release.
Heavy trucks and non-emergency vehicular traffic are continuing to be diverted away from Park Avenue at the Park/Gulpha Gorge Road intersection.
Those with essential business are being allowed to travel Park Avenue up to the 200 block.
City Manager David Watkins has asked residents to conserve water where possible in order to make sure enough is available to continue fighting the blaze at the Majestic Hotel.
The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts is sending students home for the weekend on Friday after the winners of the West Central Regional Science Fair and the Senior Research Symposium are announced this morning at First Presbyterian Church by ASMSA.
Smoke from the fire at the Majestic Hotel is affecting the Student Center.
“I have been in communication with city of Hot Springs officials this morning regarding the fire at the Majestic Hotel complex. With the fire department’s efforts to combat the fire continuing into the weekend and expected, prolonged issues related to water pressure and air quality, campus will close following the (West Central Regional) Science Fair/SRS (Senior Research Symposium) awards ceremony this morning,” Director Corey Alderdice said in an email.
To provide time to flush air systems in affected buildings on campus once the fire has settled, classes at the school have also been canceled for Monday. Students will be able to return to campus beginning at 2 p.m. Monday. The situation will be monitored over the weekend, and students, parents and employees will be notified of any changes of plans.
Hot Springs Mountain Tower will be closed through Monday.
Hot Springs Intracity Transit's Route No. 3 bus will not be able to service the areas of Whittington Avenue and Mountain Valley today due roadblocks related to the fire at the Majestic Hotel.
Service will continue to be extended to the Spring Street, area, out towards the King Expressway, and toward National Park Medical Center, the city said in a news release.