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Overnight lane closures are expected this week on Interstate 49 between mile marker 90, by Slaughter Pen Road and Exit 93.

Closures are currently scheduled overnight, from 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. until Saturday morning, Nov. 9.

ARDOT spokesperson Danny Straessle said that most closures will be in northbound lanes, which will allow workers to set up a work zone to begin constructing a $66.6 million interchange that will allow traffic to get on 71 Business or continue on what is currently Arkansas 549, future Interstate 49 into Missouri.

"It heralds the beginning of this interchange," he said.

This site setup will include concrete barriers that will reduce lanes on the highway from 12 to 11 feet wide.

This allows dirt work to begin for the interchange approach, he explained.

The final interchange, which will replace the existing traffic circle, will be a single point urban interchange.

The current interchange in the works at Exit 85 on the Bentonville-Rogers border will be the first in the state and this one will be the second, he said.

It functions with a single traffic signal under the Interstate 49 overpass, he explained, and can move an extremely large traffic volume very efficiently.

The diamond interchange, which is more common along the Interstate 49 corridor, includes two signals, meaning drivers may make it through one light only to immediately stop at another, he explained.

As the project continues, one of the biggest challenges is going to be managing the existing traffic volume while the traffic circle is consumed into the new interchange, Straessle said.

Drivers should pay attention to signage and upcoming announcements about the projects, he added. Additional announcements, including other potential lane closures, will be on the state agencies informational website, IDriveArkansas.com, he said.

General News on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Highway interchange work starts

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