Significant lane closures and detours are scheduled this weekend at the ongoing interchange project at Interstates 630 and 430 in west Little Rock, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said.
The restrictions are set to begin at 9 p.m. Saturday and last until 5 a.m. Monday while crews install steel beams on a new bridge over Shackleford Road.
The Highway Department said the following traffic changes are planned:
• Financial Centre Parkway to eastbound I-630 will be reduced to a single lane and then detoured to Hermitage Road. I-630 will be accessible by turning left from Hermitage onto Shackleford Road.
• Northbound Shackleford Road will be reduced to a single lane and detoured onto Interstate 630 and then back onto Shackleford Road.
• Southbound Shackleford Road to eastbound I-630 will be detoured to eastbound Markham Street to John Barrow Road and then onto the interstate. Through southbound traffic will be reduced to a single lane, detoured to westbound Financial Centre Parkway and then sent back to Shackleford Road via Hermitage Road.
• Westbound I-630 to Financial Centre Parkway will be restricted to a single lane.
Randy Ort, a spokesman for the highway department, said previous beams were placed in the work area by stopping traffic completely for 15-minute intervals. That tactic wasn't feasible in this case because the crane doing the work needs to be placed in Shackleford Road.
"By doing it this way, by giving the contractor round-the-clock access for a full weekend, we think that's better," Ort said. "Let's get in there, let's give the contractor full access, and let's get it done."
Ort said the department is not recommending drivers avoid the area completely, but he said they may want to consider alternate routes. Interstate 430, he noted, will not be restricted by the work.
"Locals may know other ways to get through those areas," he said. "We want them to be aware of it."
The work could be delayed if bad weather develops, but Ort said the detours will be removed and the affected areas reopened by Monday morning regardless of what happens.
The large work zone has been the site of a number of traffic shifts and detours during the $124 million project.
It's set to be completed in 2015.
"The public's done great so far," Ort said. "We ask them to keep paying attention for another year or so."