The Broadway Bridge started construction in 1921 and was opened on March 14, 1923. The structure is a five–span open spandrel arch concrete bridge having a length of 2,786 feet, a deck width of 40 feet and a 24.3 foot vertical clearance. Two spans were replaced with a single steel through arch span in 1974 to provide a navigation channel for the McClellan-Kerr Navigation System on the Arkansas River.
The Broadway Bridge has an estimated average daily traffic (ADT) volume of 24,000 vehicles.
The Department is proposing to replace the Broadway Bridge and its connection ramps on U.S. Highway 70 over the Arkansas River connecting Little Rock and North Little Rock.
The following bridge structure types were evaluated: (1) Plate Girder Design, (2) Single Tied Arch, (3) Twin Tied Arch, and (4) a Cable Stay Design. The selected design will be a Twin Basket Handle Network Tied Arch.
The factors in the evaluation in order of magnitude are: cost, feasibility, constructability, geotechnical, accelerated construction methods, stakeholder input, aesthetic value, environment and maintenance. The bridge will be a four-lane arterial on existing alignment. The proposed typical section of the bridge is four 11-foot travel lanes with 4-foot shoulders and a 16-foot shared use path on the eastern side of the bridge.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2013 or early 2014 and will be expedited to reduce the amount of time the bridge will be out of service. The total cost for the bridge includes removal and demolition of the current bridge and construction of the new bridge along with its additional improvements in the vicinity. The Department made an initial commitment of $45 million for the bridge replacement, but new estimates, as a result of preliminary engineering studies, have increased the amount to $58 million. Pulaski County has committed an additional $20 million to the project.
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