Above, a crew from Contractor's Specialty Service Company of Little Rock paints lines on the new section of highway at the base of Freeze Mountain.
After nearly five years, there is an end in sight to the Highway 5 South construction project.
Work on the project, which included a new section of highway and the bridge over Coon Creek, began in October, 2012, and was plagued by a series of delays set off by a large slide that damaged utility lines.
The bridge opened in late 2016 and the section of highway bypassing the S-curves on the north side of the mountain was opened July 13.
“Right now we’re doing some ditch paving and erosion control and pulling gravel up to the edge of the asphalt so there’s not a drop-off,” District Construction Engineer Joe Trantham said last week. He added that a crew was expected to “pull the barrels” by the end of the day Friday, but as of Monday the barrels still stood along the road edge. However, the road is entirely open, including a southbound passing lane up the mountain, to the rejoicing of many local residents.
“We’re glad to get it open, too,” Trantham said.
From the Aug. 9, 2017 issue.