North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith said Monday he is expected to bring legislation to the City Council within two weeks to authorize the expenditure of $56,000 to repair a water drainage line that ruptured recently on Colonel Maynard Road.
City Engineer Mike Smith said repair crews are expected to begin repairing the line within days.
The mayor told the council during its regular meeting that he wants to waive competitive bidding to begin the project immediately.
“If we get another rainfall, it could wash out that road,” he said. One lane of the roadway is still usable and driveable to traffic, he said.
On June 4, Smith wrote city residents living near Colonel Maynard to inform them of the impending project.
In his letter, he wrote,”Dear residents, as you may have noticed we have closed down one lane of traffic on Colonel Maynard Road, one-half mile south of the Old England Hwy/165 junction. This was a necessary measure due to the discovery of a drainage pipe failure that runs under the road at that point in the road. Most likely this damage was due to the extensive rain we have experienced this spring. We want to let you know what is happening and what we are planning on doing about it.”
Smith said the city’s engineering, traffic, street, and code departments are monitoring the condition of the road.
“Our employees are hard at work developing a plan for repairs.While many problems are still being worked out, there are some things we know right now,” said the mayor.
At this time it is safe for vehicle traffic on the one open lane.
“If conditions worsen, it is possible that both lanes could be closed to all traffic,” said the mayor.
There is little doubt that the repairs will have to be started within the next 2 weeks.
“When repair work begins, a 20-foot section of Colonel Maynard will be closed entirely to traffic. Alternate routes, developed by our traffic department will be posted,” said the mayor.
Repair work will take two to four weeks from start to finish.
“This time frame is dependent on several factors, the biggest one being weather,” said the mayor. “Safety of those traveling on the road is our highest priority; our second is getting the road open as soon as safely possible.”
Smith added, “We hope this information will be helpful in preparing for the unavoidable inconvenience that is to come. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me any time at 501-340-5301 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
City Engineer Mike Smith said recent heavy rains are believed to have been responsible for causing an older, rusty 40-foot section of the 100-foot drainage pipe to collapse.
“The soil above the pipe became soft from the rainfall and the its weight caused 40 feet of the pipe to collapse,” he said.
Smith said city crews believe 60 feet of the pipe is in good shape and construction workers are planning to install a water drainage tie-in into the section that did not collapse. While putting the tie-in into the 60 feet of good pipe, crews will be replacing the 40 feet that ruptured, said Mike Smith.
There is a chance that the 60 feet of pipe could be in bad shape, too.
“We won’t know until we get down there,” he added.
Mike Smith said if it is in bad shape, a long-term project will be to replace it too. However, right now, crews will be implementing the tie-in project as well as replacing the 40 feet of pipe that collapsed.