NEWTON COUNTY, Ark. – The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) announced on Friday they will begin work on Wednesday, June 9 to demolish the old Highway 7 bridge at Pruitt in Newton County which will impact traffic and visitor access to that area of the Buffalo National River.
The temporary closure will include the Buffalo River from Ozark to below the Lower Pruitt river access.
ARDOT and its contractors began preparation work in February 2019 for the replacement of the old Pruitt Bridge.
During the preparation and blasting portions of the demolition on June 9, access to the Buffalo River and the trails and roads within the safety perimeter will be prohibited.
Vehicle traffic on Highway 7, County Roads 80 and Pruitt-Yardell will be impacted for approximately one hour during the blasting portion of the demolition. The area will be swept and reviewed for safety concerns after the blast. When cleared, trails, roads and the Lower Pruitt river access will be opened to traffic.
The Buffalo River within the safety perimeter will be closed up to 24 hours after the blast as cleanup is conducted
Bridge debris will be captured on prepared temporary structures above the river.
During the closure, all visitors traveling the upper sections of the river will be required to exit at the Ozark access to prevent them from entering the demolition area.
Access to the river can be re-established at the Hasty or the Lower Pruitt access after the blasting portion of the demolition has occurred.
Hikers will not be allowed to enter the safety perimeter.
Due to the geography of the area, there will be no staging area from which the public can safely view the demolition.
For more information on the temporary closure contact Buffalo National River at 870-439-2502 or visit the park’s website.