The arch was installed in late 1972 and early 1973. Two sections of the 1923 bridge were blasted away in September 1972 to make way for the arch.
The new portion of the bridge was wider and had more vertical clearance. This was part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation project.
The bridge had closed to traffic on May 25, 1972 and reopened the week of February 5, 1973. That time it took 8 months to replace one section. The current project will completely replace an entire bridge with an expected closure of six months.
The steel for the arch came from Japan. The arch was assembled there and the dismantled before being shipped to Little Rock. Then it was reassembled in place.
After the Broadway Bridge reopened, work began on building a new Main Street Bridge.