SEBASTIAN COUNTY, Ark. (News release) – Historic flooding along the Arkansas River that required prompt shutdown of two bridges that span the waterway in the City of Ft. Smith are able to be temporarily reopened, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials.
Late last night, the U.S. Highway 64/71B (Broadway St.) bridge – known locally as the Midland Bridge – and the I-540 river bridge over the Arkansas River were closed to traffic due to anticipated high water levels impacting roadways leading to both structures. 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 river crossings will remain open unless high water conditions warrant another closure.
The State Highway 59 Bridge at Barling has operated since last night as the only available Arkansas River crossing in Ft. Smith. At this time, the structure is not anticipated to be impacted by this event.
Multiple segments of State Highways are closed in the River Valley with more expected in the coming days. The latest information on highway closures due to high water is available on our Traveler Information site, IDriveArkansas.com. Late-breaking news is published on our Twitter account. Follow us @myARDOT.