New Mississippi River Span To Mark Major Stage Meeting in the Middle

April 9, 2006 - Posted at 2:02 p.m. CST

LAKE VILLAGE, Ark. (AP) _ The U-S 82 bridge over the Mississippi

River in southeast Arkansas is taking shape, but the crossing won't

open until 2009.

The four-lane bridge will replace a two-lane span that connects

Lake Village and Greenville, Mississippi. The bridge now in use was

built in 1940.

The bridge under construction will have 101-foot-wide deck, more

than three times as wide as the 30-foot deck of the current bridge.

The new bridge will include four 12-foot lanes -- two in each

direction -- that will even accommodate wide loads without having

to shut down traffic in the other direction.

This week, crews are expected to close the gap in the main deck

between the bridge's two primary suspension towers.

The old bridge is a danger to modern river transportation and

has sustained more barge collisions than any other bridge on the

Mississippi since 1972.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)