Builders on hook to fix street ruin
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.