- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas highway officials have called off work along U.S. 70 between Benton and Hot Springs because large crowds are expected in the area for a big sports weekend.

The state high school basketball championships begin Thursday and run through Saturday at Hot Springs’ Summit Arena. On the south side of the city on Saturday, Oaklawn Park will host the Rebel Stakes, a prep race for the Kentucky Derby.

Road crews had planned to shut down one lane of traffic in each direction between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department said Wednesday it would do the work next week.

Last week, motorists criticized the department for traffic delays that occurred after heavy sleet fell in construction zones in eastern Arkansas.

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