NORTH LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department officials said Wednesday the replacement for a recently demolished bridge between Little Rock and North Little Rock will open next week, about a month ahead of schedule.


The 93-year-old Broadway Bridge spanning the Arkansas River was closed to traffic Sept. 28 but wasn’t demolished until mid-October after initial attempts to take the structure down were unsuccessful.


Massman Construction told the Highway Department the bridge will be open for north-south traffic sometime next week and that unseasonably warm winter allowed for construction 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Massman had originally projected it would take 180 days to get the new bridge in place for a project that was budgeted at $98.4 million. The due date for the project was March 28.


A ceremonial opening of the bridge is set for 3:30 p.m. Monday. If the bridge were to open to traffic the following day, it would be 29 days ahead of schedule and the company would be eligible for a bonus of $80,000 for each day the project was done early.


That would mean the Kansas City, Mo., company could receive a bonus of $2.3 million for its fast work.


A ribbon cutting and commissioning of the bridge are set for April 6 at the foot of the new bridge in North Little Rock beside Dickey-Stephens Park, the home of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers. The baseball team’s season opener is also set for that night.