I-530 project almost complete while others wait in wings

The reconstruction of an eight-mile span of Interstate 530 between the Jefferson exit and the Pulaski County line is nearing completion, according to officials with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department.

The project, which began in early 2012, is the first of several that will eventually see the entire route between Pine Bluff and Little Rock rehabilitated, according to AHTD officials.

“The eight-mile stretch of I-530 in northern Jefferson County is substantially complete,” said AHTD spokesman Danny Straessle. “There will still be some short-term lane closures from time to time while the project contractor performs grass seeding, mulching and watering, pavement evaluations, final clean-up and other miscellaneous items of work.”

Straessle said the project is scheduled for completion by Labor Day.

“These projects fall under the Interstate Rehabilitation Program and were authorized by Arkansas voters in a 2011 special election who approved a series of Grant Anticipation Revenue Vehicle bonds,” Straessle said. “The federal money that we receive goes to retire the debt on these bonds.”

The ongoing bridge replacement project just south of the Bingham Road exit on I-530 is scheduled for completion by mid-fall 2014, Straessle said.

“The next project extends from the junction with Interstate 30 to the Bingham Road interchange and will involve the rehabilitation of the road bed,” Straessle said. “It is expected to begin in mid-spring of 2014 and covers an 8.27-mile stretch.”

Next up is the stretch of I-530 between the Jefferson exit and the Arkansas 104 exit.

“This will involve just over six miles and will be a lot simpler to do,” Straessle said. “We are only going to have to mill the asphalt, rubbleize the concrete and overlay it with asphalt. The project is scheduled to begin in the early part of 2015.”

Straessle said that the final phase will extend from Arkansas 104 to U.S. 65B, with a start date anticipated for sometime in 2017.