Builders on hook to fix street ruin

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - ARKANSAS - FRANK FELLONE Fjfel­lone@gmail.com

Dear Ma­hatma: Our street, Stonewall Road be­tween North Uni­ver­sity Av­enue and North Pierce Street in Lit­tle Rock, has had four res­i­den­tial tear-down and re­build con­struc­tion projects go­ing on for the past year. With all the heavy equip­ment (back­hoes, ce­ment trucks, 18-wheel de­liv­ery trucks, etc.) up and down the street con­tin­u­ously dur­ing this pe­riod, a huge pot­hole has de­vel­oped. The curb­ing has been crushed in sev­eral ar­eas. Gouges and scrapes are ev­ery­where. Who is re­spon­si­ble for the re­pair of this street as con­struc­tion fi­nally moves to­ward com­ple­tion? — Dodg­ing the Bumps

Dear Dodger: Jon Honey­well, the pub­lic works di­rec­tor for the city of Lit­tle Rock, was kind enough to take the time to il­lu­mi­nate this mat­ter.

He said that when dam­age hap­pens to the city’s in­fra­struc­ture be­cause of a res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion project, the city tells the builder or owner of the dam­age. The builder or owner is re­quired to re­pair any dam­age the city con­sid­ers nec­es­sary.

If the dam­age isn’t re­paired, the city has the op­tion of hold­ing in­spec­tions, or with­hold­ing the home’s cer­tifi­cate of oc­cu­pancy un­til the re­pairs are com­pleted.

Honey­well said city staffers have in­ves­ti­gated the is­sues raised here, and the builders have been told of their re­spon­si­bil­ity to make re­pairs. Mon­i­tor­ing of these mat­ters will go on as the con­struc­tion is com­pleted.

At our re­quest un­der the state’s Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act, Honey­well also sent along the con­struc­tion per­mits for ad­dresses on Stonewall Road. One home will have 5,168 square feet, and the per­mit was for $625,000. We don’t know much about home con­struc­tion but have cal­cu­lated that home will re­quire a whole lot of fur­ni­ture.

Foot­note: We love to ask for doc­u­ments un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act. Do­ing so makes us feel like a “jour­nal­ist,” rather than a “blovi­a­tor.”

Sec­ond foot­note: Honey­well told us the huge pot­hole has been re­paired.

What about Lit­tle Rock’s sis­ter city to the north?

Nathan Hamil­ton, North Lit­tle Rock’s pub­lic in­for­ma­tion dude, said that any con­struc­tion — ei­ther au­tho­rized or unau­tho­rized — that re­sults in dam­age to a city street also re­sults in the con­trac­tor be­ing re­spon­si­ble for a fix.

Unau­tho­rized con­struc­tion? Se­ri­ously?

Yes, Hamil­ton said. All the city’s de­part­ments (san­i­ta­tion code, traf­fic, safety, plan­ning and engi­neer­ing) have folks trained to spot unau­tho­rized con­struc­tion.

Dear Ma­hatma: Re­cently I was passed on U.S. 167 by a dump truck pulling a back­hoe on a trailer. A rock jumped off and cracked my wind­shield. Can I get a ticket for a cracked wind­shield? I think back when we had to get ve­hi­cle in­spec­tions and a cracked wind­shield would be a prob­lem. — Cracked in Searcy

Dear Cracked: Ob­structed wind­shields are il­le­gal, so, yes, de­pend­ing on the size and lo­ca­tion of the crack. We have had per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with this. The first time, the crack spread, and we re­placed the wind­shield. Next time, we had a ding filled in. It was worth every cent.

Van­ity plate: IM MAD.

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