The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department and members of the Arkansas State Highway Commission officially dedicated the Interstate 430/630 interchange in west Little Rock today atop the highway’s highest, but yet-to-open, flyover.
Planning for the project, referred to as the “Big Rock Interchange,” began in 2004, and construction started in January 2009. The total cost of the project was $150 million, said Scott Bennett, AHTD director.
The last flyover is set to open to traffic this weekend, though Randy Ort, AHTD assistant chief of administration, said contractors will need a couple of weeks longer to finish up all aspects of the project.
I-430 was completed in 1975 and cost about $67 million, Bennett said. At the time, about 14,000 vehicles a day traveled on the roadway. I-630 was completed in 1977, and had about 21,000 vehicles a day at the time.
Today, Bennett said, more than 200,000 vehicles travel on I-430 and I-630 combined.
The name “Big Rock” comes from the 5-million-pound rock formation that was uncovered during construction. According to AHTD, the design for that section was altered to leave the largest portion of the rock in place as a landmark.