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Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 4:38 a.m.
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U.S. 67/167 reopens after power line repairs

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published July 23, 2014 at 8:13 a.m. Updated July 23, 2014 at 4:25 p.m.

an-entergy-worker-clears-lines-that-were-knocked-down-across-us-67167-wednesday-blocking-traffic-in-both-directions

An Entergy worker clears lines that were knocked down across U.S. 67/167 Wednesday, blocking traffic in both directions.

Authorities work the scene at U.S. 67/167 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, after a truck downed power lines on the busy highway, closing all lanes of traf...

4:25 P.M. UPDATE:

Entergy Arkansas officials said crews have replaced the power lines on U.S. 67/167 and all lanes of the highway have reopened.

2:30 P.M. UPDATE:

U.S. 67/167 is again closing to traffic in both directions while crews install new power lines after they were downed in a wreck earlier Wednesday.

An Entergy spokesman said the highway would close around 2:30 p.m. and that the work would take about 45 minutes.

The highway was closed for more than an hour after a truck hit the lines around 7:45 a.m.

EARLIER:

U.S. 67/167 has reopened Wednesday morning after closing between Kiehl Avenue and Interstate 440 because of downed power lines.

Arkansas State Police said a truck hit the lines about 7:45 a.m. and that the highway was blocked. By 9:20 a.m., the highway had reopened, but delays were expected to last a while longer.

While the highway was shut, southbound traffic was being diverted onto I-440 and northbound traffic was being sent onto Kiehl.

Entergy Arkansas reported at 9:20 a.m. that 548 customers in the area were still without power.

Crews on scene said repairs would begin immediately and that the highway would have to again shut down at some point during that process. The utility said the shutdown would occur either before or after rush hour depending on how long repairs take.

Julie Munsell, a spokesman for Entergy, said the highway shouldn't be closed for too long when it does shut, but the precise length of time needed to replace the lines isn't clear.

Officials on scene said it happened when a dump truck hit the lines on Landers Road, a service road just east of the highway. The impact knocked down the lines, snapping a total of four wood utility poles on both sides of the highway.

Munsell said initial reports indicated the truck was coming from a nearby landfill and had its bed raised. The reason the bed may have been up isn't clear, she added.

Traffic in the area quickly turned into gridlock with lengthy backups on U.S. 67/167 and surrounding roads.

"It's just a reminder to us that damage does occur and sometimes at the worst possible time," Munsell said.

Landers Road remained blocked a while longer, but reopened about 9:40 a.m. A long line of backed up traffic was slowly filtering out of the area at that time.

The Arkansas Online live traffic map showed stopped traffic in the area.

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