LITTLE ROCK (6-23) 

     A contractor repairing flood damage on Highway 71, just north of Mountainburg, will be required to close the highway for up to two weeks due to additional instability in the area, according to Arkansas St ate Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) officials.

     The affected area is located just south of the entrance to Lake Fort Smith St ate Pa rk on Highway 71.  Northbound and southbound traffic have been alternately sharing one lane to get through the construction area in recent weeks.  However, crews have discovered additional instability in the area that will require the one open lane to be closed for up to two weeks.

     “We’ve experienced instability of the ground that has caused some additional sliding, making it unsafe to leave the roadway open,” stated Joe Shipman, AHTD District Four Engineer.  “To ensure motorists’ safety, we have closed the highway completely while the contractor makes permanent repairs.”

      The closure of the highway just south of the entrance to Lake F o rt Smith State Pa rk means all traffic wishing to enter the park will have to come from the north; i.e., a person must travel south on Highway 71 from the West Fork/Brentwood/Winslow areas. Motorists using Interstate 540 should take either Highway 74 at Winslow, or Highway 170 at West Fork to reach Highway 71. Large vehicles or longer combinations of vehicles are urged to use Highway 170 rather than Highway 74 to access Highway 71.

     Motorists should exercise caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones.     



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