Abstract A neutron diffraction experiment has been performed in liquid arsenic at T=825°C (p=47 atm) just above the triple point (T=817°C, p=36 atm) at the Orphee reactor (Saclay) using λ=0.704 Å wavelength. We have found a nearest neighbor distance (d 1=2.50 Å) and a coordination number (Z=3.0) undistinguishably close to the values of the crystalline phases or to those of the amorphous one. These features suggest that the atomic arrangement in the liquid is reminiscent of the structure of the crystal. We suggest a model of corrugated planes of trivalent atoms. In addition, a Monte Carlo simulation of the liquid structure taking into account the directional properties of the p bonds shows that Peierls-like distortion may occur in the absence of translational invariance. Such a model is consistent with the temperature increase of the electrical conductivity of liquid arsenic.