FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Two bridges shut down Monday night because of flooding were reopened Tuesday morning (May 28).
The Midland Avenue and Interstate 540 bridges were closed about 10 p.m. Monday (May 27) because of flood waters along the road. Those closures, along with the Garrison Avenue Bridge the day before, funneled traffic averaging 100,000 vehicles combined daily to the Highway 59 Bridge in Barling, a two-lane bridge that normally averages about 8,000 cars daily.
The result was major traffic headaches and congestion Tuesday along Highway 59 that kept traffic backed up for hours.
The Arkansas Department of Transportation announced about 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday (May 28) that the two bridges were reopening. The bridges were closed due to "anticipated high water levels impacting roadways leading to both structures," ArDOT said in a news release.
"The predicted floodwaters did not rise to the level anticipated last night, and after a thorough inspection of the structures, ArDOT engineers have determined they can reopen."
The bridges could close again if the water continues to rise as expected, but ArDOT did not say when that might happen.