For those following the saga of US 71 north of Mountainburg, the highway has finally been repaired and reopened. For those who have not been following, or have forgotten, a brief recap:
Spring rains caused a partial washout of US 71 approximately 5 miles north of Mountainburg. In May, AHTD let to bid a contract to repair the slide damage. The road remained open to one lane of traffic until mid-June, when it was discovered the slide damage was worse that anticipated, which necessitated a complete closure of the roadway.
The road reopened to one lane of traffic in mid-July while work continued on rebuilding the roadway, including raising the height of the northbound lanes to allow for better drainage.
In early August, repairs were completed and the road finally reopened to full traffic
So this section of US 71 is good to go for many more years of service. BUT there are potential problems along numerous other sections of 71 from just south of Mountainburg to near Winslow. This is an old roadway, predating the US highway system by a number of years. Just because I-540 is nearby and carries the bulk of traffic up and down the mountain, there is no excuse to neglect this or any other road in the area.