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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — Work continues on Interstate 630 in Little Rock in this November 2018 file photo.

Work on an $87.4 million project to widen a section of Interstate 630 in west Little Rock will severely restrict traffic on the route this weekend.

Beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, motorists will be limited to one lane in both directions between Fair Park Boulevard and Baptist Health Medical Center to allow the contractor to work to shift westbound traffic to the outside lanes and eastbound traffic to the inside lanes, the Arkansas Department of Transportation said in a news release.

In addition to closing two travel lanes in both directions, the contractor will require periodic shutdowns of all six lanes for up to 15 minutes at a time, the department said.

Traffic will be limited to one lane in both directions through 6 a.m. Monday, weather permitting.

This phase of the work, once it is completed in another weekend closing as yet to be announced, will mark a dramatic change in the traffic pattern within the work zone.

"When it's all said and done, the eastbound lanes will be where the westbound lanes are right now," said Danny Straessle, the agency spokesman. "That's how far over everything is going to be shifted."

Motorists will need to tread carefully, he said.

"This will represent a new traffic pattern for westbound traffic and motorists need to pay attention as they go through the work zone because it's about to change significantly," Straessle said.

A map showing I-630 weekend work.
A map showing I-630 weekend work.

He said the work this weekend and on the other future date is laying the groundwork to begin the demolition and rebuilding of the bridges over Rodney Parham Road and Rock Creek.

The stoppage of all traffic on I-630 is needed to allow crews to tie into temporary ramps at Rodney Parham and John Barrow roads, the department said.

Traffic will be controlled using signs and barrels.

The work is part of a project that began this summer to widen the 2.5-mile section of I-630 between Baptist Health and South University Avenue to eight lanes from six. The project also includes the already completed work to replace the Hughes Street overpass.

Until now, the contractor has limited lane closings to overnight hours. All six lanes are required to remain open during peak travel periods, which is generally the morning and evening weekday commutes.

The work is part of the department's $1.8 billion Connecting Arkansas Program, a road construction schedule focusing on regionally significant projects. The program is funded, in part, though a statewide half-percent sales tax voters approved in 2012. The tax will expire in 2023.

The department said the project is an extension of the work for three projects worth $124 million completed three years ago to improve the Interstate 630/Interstate 430 interchange. Projections show that traffic on the section of I-630 being widened will reach 140,000 vehicles daily in 20 years.

The project is scheduled to be completed in early 2020.

Metro on 12/14/2018

Print Headline: TRAFFIC ALERT: I-630 job to severely restrict traffic on weekend


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  • scross58
    December 18, 2018 at 9:32 p.m.

    What a mess that corridor is right now with "special" drivers going through there extra fast so they won't be exposed to hazardous conditions as long as the drivers who drive the 50 mph speed limit.