De Roche Creek Lateral Bridge Slides

Arkadelphia, Arkansas

Interstate 30 is a heavily trafficked corridor that connects Little Rock, Arkansas, to Dallas, Texas. In Southwest Arkansas near the city of Arkadelphia, two aging bridges on this thoroughfare provided passage over the De Roche Creek. This important segment of the state highway system carries 29,000 vehicles daily. In 2017, the time had come for the crossings to be replaced due to almost continual repairs being needed. Using a traditional construction method, these bridge replacements would have required that motorists in both directions use just the eastbound lanes or the westbound lanes for up to a year and a half, causing significant congestion and delays.

Recognizing the need to reduce traffic disruptions, the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and Michael Baker International utilized an innovative Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method known as a lateral slide to replace the existing structures. This was notably the first time that a lateral slide had been used in Arkansas. Under this method, the new bridge superstructures were constructed next to the existing bridges on temporary falsework, one for eastbound traffic and one for westbound traffic. Once complete, the existing bridges were demolished, and the new bridges were slid into place. This option limited traffic disruption to two short-term periods during which traffic was reduced to a single lane in each direction.

This project was completed as part of an ultimate plan to achieve six lanes of highway from Little Rock to Texarkana. The new bridges now accommodate three lanes of traffic in each direction, allowing more people and goods to pass over the creek and reducing delays, which can have economic benefits while also reducing emissions and travel times.


“The De Roche Creek Lateral Bridge Slides project successfully met ARDOT’s goals of replacing the two aging bridges in a compressed timeframe. The project serves as a successful case study for the lateral slide ABC method and ARDOT plans to use this method in future projects.”

-Project Manager

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