Photo: Fayetteville Flyer Staff
The long-awaited restoration of two historic downtown bridges will reach notable milestones in the coming weeks.
As work winds down on the Lafayette Street bridge, crews will shift focus to the nearby Maple Street bridge.
City officials on Wednesday said the plan is to have both roadways open to traffic by the start of the school year and the return of students at the University of Arkansas.
Crews are set to close the Maple Street bridge, along with Gregg Avenue from Lafayette Street to Reagan Street, on July 21 and reopen the roadways on Aug. 19. The Lafayette Street bridge, which closed in March for construction, is expected to open July 28.
The closures will affect cars, bicycles and pedestrians, however, Frisco Trail will remain open.
Officials said a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held later this fall once both renovation projects are complete.
The $1.725 million project includes a rehab of the 1930s-era bridges that cross over the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad one block east of the University of Arkansas campus.
Both structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in order to retain that designation, special work is required to restore the bridges as close as possible to their original form. All plans required approval by the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program and the state highway department.
Rehab work includes restoring or replacing the bent railings and broken light fixtures, pouring a new layer of deck concrete, widening the sidewalks, and other structural improvements.
Funding for the project comes from $1 million from the federal aid Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program. The remaining $725,000 comes from transportation bonds voters approved in 2006.