|Updated: 9/01/2011 6:33 pm
||Published: 9/01/2011 4:38 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Broadway Bridge, which connects Little Rock and North Little Rock, will have a new look in the next couple of years. Thing is, no one knows what that look will be.
The bridge has connected the two cities for 88 years. Years of wear and tear leaves it in need of a makeover.
"This is an opportunity, a once in a lifetime and maybe more than just one lifetime opportunity, to really create a signature bridge," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.
A Thursday afternoon meeting largely focused on the bridge's design. Several artist renderings were shown. Also, more lanes could be added. One diagram shown had five lanes, an extra one southbound, plus a 16-foot pedestrian walkway.
Design wasn't the only thing discussed though. Timing is another big issue. The Highway Department says the entire bridge will likely have to be shut down during construction, and that means a lot of traffic will have to be diverted.
"Typically when a highway department replaces an old bridge they build a new bridge next to it before they demolish the old one to keep traffic flowing, but because of City Hall and Robinson Center that is not possible in this case," said Metroplan's Jim McKenzie.
In other words, you might need a new way to work. No one's sure how long there won't be a Broadway Bridge at all. For comparison's sake though, the current Broadway Bridge took two years to build.
A public meeting about bridge construction will be scheduled for sometime this fall. The bridge type won't be selected until after that.
The Highway Department expects to spend around $45-million on the new bridge. They say a typical bridge of the same size would cost about that much.