Officials expect to open Young Road overpass after I-40 wreck
NORTH LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - After Thursday's massive wreck, it took crews until early in the evening to get the roads clear for traffic to finally go through. But officials say with such a extensive damage, their work won't be done until sometime Friday.
"We probably have something like this every two or three years," said Phil Pounders, North Little Rock Fire Department Battalion Chief.
Chief Pounders says the fire caused by Thursday's semi accident caused damage rarely seen by officials.
"When we arrived on the scene it was quite apparent that it was a very severe accident because of just the fire that was involved and the debris on the road way," said Pounders.
North Little Rock Fire Department, who called on the help of several state and local agencies, says at one point they worried the bridge would collapse because of the intense fire.
"With the amount of combustibles that were there and the intense fire that was there directly impinging on the bridge," said Pounders. "It was a very real concern," he said.
After both lanes being completely shut down, and later just the westbound, two lanes are open going west with the outermost lane expected to be cleared by midnight. The overpass will open Friday morning.
"Obviously safety is the number one concern," said Randy Ort, Spokesperson for the Highway Department. "We want to get that bridge open for convenience but safety is the main concern and if there is any question about safety we will leave that bridge closed," said Ort.
Officials just ask that drivers remain attentive while driving pass the bridge.
"Motorists that are going to be going down need to be aware of the situation out there and probably stay in those left hand lanes," said Ort.
Although officials say the Young Road Bridge will most likely open Friday morning they will no longer allow heavy loads to cross over since the bridge sustained such significant damage.
Click here for our original coverage on this wreck.