Drivers faced major traffic backups on Tuesday when more than a dozen big rigs blew tires in an Arkansas construction zone.
According to THV11, the incident occurred on the morning of Tuesday, December 19, in a construction zone on I-30 near Benton. More than a dozen truckers reportedly had to pull off the interstate due to tire blowouts between Exits 114 and 117.
The problem appears to stem from metal plates placed in the roadway as part of the construction process.
James Harrison with East End Towing told the outlet that “It was hook one up, take it and get it to a safe location to where they can get a tire put on. Go back and get another one. Just one right after the other… truck after truck after truck, right front flat tires because of the temporary drainage cover plates.”
The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) says that the problem has been fixed for now.
Dave Parker with ARDOT said, “We’ve had a second incident. We have these plates there because it is a construction zone… those metal plates have got to be watched, installed [and] managed a little bit better.”
Over the summer of 2023, there was a similar rash of complaints from drivers about blown tires and vehicle damage in the construction zone.
Contractor Johnson Brothers Corp. began work to widen I-30 in May of 2019, and since then, THV11 says that the number of crashes has doubled in the construction zone when compared with 2018.
The completion of the I-30 construction project is currently about two years overdue, and it is now not expected until the end of 2024.
Many frustrated drivers have taken to social media over the past few months to complain about the issue and warn others to use caution in the area.
See the video below for more.