Major roadwork began Monday (Jan. 28) on Interstate 540 between Highway 22 — also known as Rogers Avenue — in Fort Smith to I-40 in Van Buren.
The seven-mile stretch is a bumpy ride with cracks and pot holes, and Arkansas Highway Department officials said it will take crews a few days to get the road down to one lane.
The construction project will provide a new driving surface. Crews will also reconstruct nine bridges and resurface two more. However, during this lengthy process, there will be traffic headaches.
“With the traffic volumes that we have here, we do anticipate congestion almost around the clock in this area,” said Joe Shipman with the Arkansas Highway Department.
The Arkansas Highway Commission awarded a contract, in the amount of $78.8 million, to Kiewit Infrastructure South Company of Fort Worth, Texas.
Traffic will be reduced to one lane and the highway department suggests drivers take alternate routes.
The speed limit in the work zone was reduced from 65 miles per hour to 55 miles per hour.
State Highway Department officials said this project will improve the quality of the road and increase driver safety.
The project is expected to be completed in mid-2014.