Pig Trail reopens following hill slide repair

Trucks bring in rock and haul away dirt during a project to repair Arkansas 23 in Franklin County.

Courtesy, Arkansas Highways

Both lanes of Arkansas 23 in Franklin County, also known as the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, were reopened to traffic last week after crews completed most of a $1.8 million project to repair damage from a hill slide that occurred earlier this year.

Several miles of roadway were closed in late May after a slope supporting the roadbed on the east side of the highway slid and caused large cracks to form in both travel lanes, rendering both impassable.

Officials said there were about 10 cracks in the highway, each about 8 inches wide and possibly several feet deep across 700 linear feet of roadway. With the foundation undermined, the stretch of road was at risk of sliding off the hillside.

Pig Trail landslide / Courtesy, Arkansas Highways

Workers with Kesser International, Inc. of North Little Rock stabilized the hillside and the stretch was eventually opened to one lane of traffic through the work zone.

The northbound and southbound lanes have been paved and striped and traffic is no longer governed by traffic signals, according to a news release from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding from everyone that loves to travel this scenic highway while crews worked to repair damage caused by heavy rains in late spring,” Scott Bennett, the department’s director, said in a statement. “It is our sincere pleasure to announce this highway has reopened in time for everyone in search of the emerging fall colors.”

Officials said drivers can expect temporary lane closures over the next two weeks while crews wrap up the project.