VAN BUREN (KFSM) After months of construction and plenty of long delays, Interstate 540 was celebrated Tuesday (Aug. 5). Leaders gathered in Van Buren and took a look back at all of the progress made.
The highway department marked the project down as complete as of Tuesday. The ceremony was in honor of all of the work that’s been done.
Area leaders from both Fort Smith and Van Buren along with the highway department officials were there to celebrate the completion of this Interstate improvement project.
“Thank goodness the contractor was able to do it in the time frame he did otherwise we should still be facing that construction, ” said Mayor of Van Buren Bob Freeman. ” Today you move tens of thousands of cars off that highway, this is a huge improvement for both communities.”
Construction started on this project on January 28th, 2013. For the past year and half, crews repaired the existing lanes and replaced the nine bridges on Interstate 540 from Van Buren all the way to Fort Smith.
The project came in as a price tag of just under $79 million.
This highway improvement project is part of the 2011 Interstate Rehabilitation Program which was passed by an eighty percent margin. It’s turned out to be the most expensive single highway project in the state.