UPDATE: I-40 to re-open this morning
BRINKLEY (KATV) - Two major accidents brought traffic going both directions on I-40 to a screeching halt Tuesday afternoon, affecting traffic through Wednesday morning.
On the eastbound side, five tractor trailers crashed into each other in a domino effect just east of the White River Bridge, bringing traffic to a near standstill. No injuries were reported. Traffic was diverted at the Hazen exit for US-70 toward Brinkley. Eastbound lanes were expected to re-open around 9:00 Wednesday morning.
On the westbound side, a tractor trailer flipped over when it tried to slow down. The driver swerved and ended in a ditch. Authorities say injuries have been reported in this accident but did not have any details.
Officials estimate traffic was backed up past Highway 249. Traffic was diverted at mile marker 202 to State Highway 38. Westbound lanes of I-40 were expected to re-open no earlier than 10:00 Wednesday morning.
The area is an active construction zone, with construction workers making improvements to both the highway and the bridge, including new pavement. A bridge contractor and prime contractor were working in the area at the time but no word if they were hurt in either accident.