Work continues on the widening of Highway 412 between Lawrence and Greene counties, and according to Brad Smithee, district engineer with the Arkansas Department of Transportation, another section of the highway should soon be open to five lanes of traffic.

Smithee said all structure work has been completed for the entire stretch, from Highway 141 in Greene County to Highway 67 in Lawrence County.

“All bridges were removed and replaced with reinforced box culverts, and all side and cross drains are in place,” he said.

He noted that the current contract amount is $59.28 million, of which $48.06 million has been paid/completed (81.1 percent complete). The total allowed contract time is 371 working days of which 261 have been used (70.4 percent of the allowed time used).

“These numbers simply tell us that at 81.1 percent of the work has been completed, and 70.4 percent of the time used,” Smithee said. “The work has progressed a little better than might have been expected.”

That progress has led to plans to open another section of the highway this year.

“We fully expect that the section between Cache River and Highway 141 will see the final asphalt surface placement completed in coming weeks, and drivers can expect this portion of the work to be fully open to five-lane traffic by the end of 2021,” Smithee said.

He said remaining work is getting down to the final earthwork necessary, and then primarily setting up the aggregate base coarse and placing all of the final asphalt layers. More work remains west of Cache River, though, so Smithee said that section will probably remain two lane until after the winter months.

“While work is ongoing on the western section between Walnut Ridge and Cache River, we are not quite as confident we can accomplish the same results at this point based on the amount of work remaining and knowing the limitations that exist,” he said.

Once all five lanes are open to traffic, there will still be final touches to complete the project

“There will still remain many more minor items of work, clean up, and completion of final details,” Smithee said. “We expect to be completed by mid-summer of 2022.”

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