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Springdale wants trucks to stick to designated routes through city

by Laurinda Joenks | April 6, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
City of Springdale City Hall Administration building entrance. NWA Democrat-Gazette/FILE PHOTO

SPRINGDALE -- Heavy construction trucks being driven on the city streets are damaging them, and the city wants to make them responsible for fixing them.

The city would require contractors and others to obtain assigned routes for their trucks when applying for grading permits. The city also might require a contractor to take out a bond promising payment if the street is damaged.

The City Council working as a Committee of the Whole on Monday sent the measure on for approval during its April 13 meeting.

The routes will guide trucks along the city's designated truck routes with minimal travel on city streets, said Brad Baldwin, director of the city's Engineering and Public Works departments.

Baldwin said most city streets aren't built to carry 35,000 or more pounds a construction truck might weigh. The city had to repair portions of streets after the snow the area received in February. Constant passing of the trucks deteriorated the road beds, he said.

Local delivery trucks will be exempt from the requirements, Baldwin said. He added discussions with United Parcel Service and Federal Express found they don't use trucks that big on local streets.

Moving vans and construction trucks delivering concrete to an individual home for a swimming pool or new deck also will be exempt from the measure.

"A delivery to a construction site is not a local delivery," Baldwin said. "The delivery trucks have a reason to be on those streets. I don't want the taxpayers to have to pay to fix the damage these heavy trucks cause."

The Public Works Department will determine how much bond must be secured via project, Baldwin said. The department also can enforce the measure, he said.

The Police Department enforces the current measure, usually with a warning to a truck's driver, said City Attorney Ernest Cate.

Baldwin said the Public Works Department rebuilt parts of South Downum Avenue in the northwestern part of the city. But first, the workers had to lay down gravel so residents could even access the street, he said.

He said the beds on local roads mostly are graded dirt and asphalt. That dirt holding the roads turned to mud and then mush with the freezing and melting and refreezing of the snow and ice last winter.

Construction at Shaw Family Park on Downum is nearly complete. But several subdivisions are planned for construction in the area and will continue stressing streets in the area, Baldwin noted.

City officials also have spotted many construction trucks taking a "short cut" through J.B. Hunt Park rather than sticking to designated truck routes, Cate said.

Council member Jeff Watson sakd he's seen many tractor-trailers on Don Tyson Parkway, which isn't one of the city's truck routes.

"They've just figured out Don Tyson Parkway is easier than 412," he said.

Baldwin thinks many of the navigation apps don't designate truck routes, rather just display the quickest routes. He said the city would find a way to work with the app developers to change this.

Designated truck routes in the city include Arkansas 112, Interstate 49, Thompson Street and Old Missouri Road running north and south. Arkansas 612, Wagon Wheel Road, Huntsville Avenue, West Sunset Avenue and East Robinson Road carry trucks east to west.

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