Designing aesthetically pleasing structures that bridge the gap between transportation and destination.

Charles "Rick" Ellis

Division Head

Phone: (501) 569-2361
Fax: (501) 569-2623

Image of Rick Ellis, head of ARDOT's Bridge Division.

Our Mission

The mission of the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s Bridge Division is to:

  • Provide plans and specifications for safe, efficient, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing structures.
  • Evaluate existing structures for safety and function.
  • Manage and monitor present and future needs of existing bridges.
  • Provide Quality Assurance during fabrication of structural steel and structural precast products intended for permanent use on State and State-Aid projects.
  • Oversee ARDOT’s structural design consultants.

The division comprises four Design Sections, a Concrete and Steel Fabrication Section, a Structural Inventory and Rating Section, and a Consultant Coordination and Special Projects Section. Bridge staffing levels generally consist of about 35 employees, with over 30 of these being graduate engineers.

The Design Sections are responsible for the design, plans, and specifications for safe, cost-effective, and aesthetically pleasing structures. These structures include highway and pedestrian bridges over waterways, railroads, and other highways, along with retaining walls and structural supports for highway signs.

The Concrete and Steel Fabrication Section is responsible for general oversight of the fabricator’s Quality Control processes during the production of structural steel and structural precast products.

The Structural Inventory and Rating Section is responsible for analyzing approximately 13,000 existing bridges to determine their safe load capacity and organize and maintain their current load ratings and inspection data. This section also performs structural analysis of existing bridges to assist the Arkansas Highway Police with permit issuance for overload vehicles.  This section administers the Bridge Posting Certification Program in Arkansas in support of the National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS).

The Consultant Coordination and Special Projects Section is responsible for the general oversight of Bridge plans developed by our design consultants.

Between ARDOT staff and Design Consultants, over 40 new bridges are designed each year.


Learn More

For more information about this sector of ARDOT, choose a topic below.

New and Replaced Bridges Let or Awarded During Each Federal Fiscal Year
Bridge Bid Tabs for Bridge Jobs Let to Contract

Project Gallery

Dive into some of our previous projects and learn more about our division’s history.