Nearly 100 construction zones to impede holiday travel in Arkansas
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) -- More people than ever before will be hitting the road this holiday season, but several construction zones scattered across the state could impact your travel plans, according to AAA.
"It gets down to a lot of one-lanes and that gets really congested," Robert Binsept, who's been driving semi truck for a decade, said.
Nearly 100 construction work zones shown on a map on "IDrive Arkansas" (www.idrivearkansas.com) indicate that there's nearly no avoiding them.
According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, nearly 50 miles of traffic lanes were closed earlier this year due to construction zones.
"AAA is expecting a record number of travelers going into Christmas holiday; several million more than what they had last year," Danny Straessle with ArDOT said, adding that although some of the construction has been alleviated, it's not over yet.
While looking at the map, you can click on any of the construction cones to see what the estimated completion date of that construction project is.
For instance, three work zones surrounding the Little Rock area are expected to be done toward the end of this year and early next year.
The widening of Highway 82 in Ashley County won't be complete until the year 2020, a project on Interstate 40 in Prairie County is expected to be complete around 2019, and the widening of Highway 167 in Calhoun County should wrap up in late 2019.
"We want folks to look at it before they head out on their trip, and take a look at the highway that you're going to travel on," Straessle said.
Although ArDOT is working to open up as many lanes as possible during the holiday travel rush, there are a few major construction zones to be aware of: Highway 167 from Little Rock to Cabot has at least four work zones. Also, eight construction zones stretch from Little Rock to Memphis on Interstate 40, which is exactly where Binsept was headed when Channel 7 caught up with him.
Best advice from a driver who spends his job on the road: "Leave early and have patience."
ArDOT says there are actually less "miles of lanes" closed due to construction this coming weekend than all year combined.