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Benton Mayor addresses construction stall on Military Road

Benton Mayor David Mattingly met today with officials from the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), and released the following statement regarding the progress:

I attended the meeting at the AHTD this morning regarding the ongoing undercut problem which has interrupted construction on lower Military Rd. (unsuitable soil.)  It was a productive meeting and resolved any confusion about the process we will now follow in making the necessary decisions to get us back on track.  Next week, I will meet with McClelland Engineering, our project administrative engineering group, McGeorge Inc., the contractor in charge of construction, and representatives from Metroplan to determine the most effective remedy to the undercut problem.  Once we make the decision of which technique will be used to stabilize the unsuitable soil, the change order document and other necessary documentation will be submitted to the AHTD.  Their responsibility is oversight for effective use of federal funds and to ensure compliance with AHTD standards for road construction, not to tell us what process we should use to fix the problem.  Jim McKenzie, Director of Metroplan, indicated he will support the decision made by the group to approve the $1.3 million change order that has been at the heart of the controversy.  Further, he suggested, and we all agreed, we should proceed with the understanding the project will be done in 1/3 increments and funded as required based on the conditions we find as work proceeds.   Additionally, he indicated if we would exceed the actual budgeted amount of $10 million, which was allocated for roadway construction, he would ask the Metroplan Board to help us find additional federal funding to minimize the cost impact on the city.

David Mattingly
Mayor, City of Benton

Views: 793


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Comment by Al Smith on January 29, 2012 at 8:34pm

I have lived here as a new citizen of your city of about 5 years and I feel that Mayor Mattingly has his heart in making this a better city than when he started.  I remember when he ran for this office ; he ran not as a polition for a future carrier, but to turn things around and I voted for him because it looked like we needed a change and \i think he has provided that.  This site has helped me to learn a little bit more about this fine community and at 71 I am glad I settled here. I enjoy politics and I am a registered independent and vote for Who \i feel is the best for our communityand nation as well and am not beholdin to  a politcal party. Thanks Shellie for making this site possible.

Comment by Harper on January 29, 2012 at 7:07pm

What is puzzling to me is the fact that this roadway had a concrete surface that lasted over 60 years across the "bad" soils without a repeated maintenance problem. It's hard to understand why a million dollars of cut and replacement is needed.

Comment by Ragingmountain on January 29, 2012 at 5:47pm

Mr. Rick:

   Yes, Mr. Munky and I DO enjoy being opinionated, and somewhat self-absorbed.  Besides, there IS no other show THAT IS BETTER  than humans trying to explain their positions on opposite sides of the issue.  Great mental exercise.  Keeps the brain in tune, and less subject to "senior moments." 

   I would also thank you for the great posting about the "Good Ol' Boy" network. In short, it IS a matter  that Saline County voters DO need to consider at election time.  One item to measure by is the number of inquiries as to "setting up shop?." Too low approval percentage does reveal an aversion to new influences., is a menu page that does feature FMS and upgrades.  The more knowledge, the better to make discriminating choices on this subject, eh?

    However, the main point is that the road way had a poor terrestrial support, the STATE did NOT require the LOCALS to supply CURRENT info on the soil composition; or is it DIS-position?  The result is a boondoggle that the TAXPAYERS will have to cover, and SOMEBODY is making a buck that they are NOT entitled to by dint of positive contribution.

   Thanks for the respite, though.




Comment by Ragingmountain on January 29, 2012 at 12:49pm

Per Munky:

" If you have ever observed the people who stop their cars in the road when they see a firetruck, instead of maintaining speed and easing over to the right, you would appreciate that a 4-lane road would be a big improvement over a 2-lane road for firetrucks that might need to pass other vehicles..."

   Just as an aside, recently in NYS, a new law took effect that clearly requires a driver to pull off to the shoulder al let emergency vehicles pass. NO DISTINCTION between I-class roads, a/o country lane.  Just, "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!"

   The plethora of drivers that were IGNORING a social "law" as to granting the "Right Of Way" to an emergency vehicle was becoming obstructionist as some would freeze in place on the road; the idea was to let the emergency responder go around THEM.   Still, those that took the logical course were rear-ended by other drivers that simply felt they HAD an "emergency" to get to. 

   Now, all drivers are required to pull off and let fire, police, ambulance, the NG, tow trucks, and now SNOW PLOWS, to proceed unhindered. I have a bit of a problem with snow plows, though.  It would seem that depending on position, the maxim of self-preservation rules the day.

   On a city street, I'd opt to use a side street, and come in behind the plow. IF, I'm in front of the plow.

   On an I-class road, either a turn-around, or the nearest exit, a/o rest area is my refuge. To pull over to the side is to invite damage, injury, even death by snow burial; especially with a wing plow in action.

   Bottom line is that ALL states are pretty much agreed to granting the "Right Of Way" to an emergency vehicle ---- the USUAL concept includes police, fire, ambulance.   That WOULD be for the driver to pull off onto the shoulder; or as far as possible(per conditions).

   Your point as to granting the use of the PASSING LANE on an I-class road is not logical.  There is ALWAYS SOMEBODY in that lane that complicates the manoeuver.  Best to simply pull onto the shoulder, and let the responder(s?) get to their business.  Your courtesy MIGHT save the life of someone you know, eh?



Comment by Jay on January 26, 2012 at 5:18pm

Mayor Mattingly sent a statement to Today's THV outlining the plan to fix the problem. He says the delays have pushed completion of the project back to June 2013.


Comment by Shelli Poole on January 23, 2012 at 11:23pm

Just in case it's unclear to anyone, the fire truck pic is a joke - not really a Benton fire truck! See actual truck here.

Comment by guitarman on January 23, 2012 at 6:36pm

No answer to what statement? Shelly posted this, not the Mayor.


What is b.s.?

Comment by Ragingmountain on January 22, 2012 at 5:42pm


     Here is some of the HOMEWORK I do, just to give credence to my statements: ---- a very modern report, considering...

completed in 1979, ---- 42 years past. --- a 1987 report, pages 4 & 5 are very useful. ---- begs the question as to BAUXITE, and ITS reactionary properties, over time. ---- good for general use, but lacks set-ins / special notes for localities.

   Bottom line is that Benton is on the front line of two geological formations, and the question is whether there IS MOVEMENT below ground?  "Quiet quakes?"  Or some form of hydro activity be it course-altering, or, expansion-contraction?  Either way, the problem is still waiting a solution.



Comment by Ragingmountain on January 22, 2012 at 2:22pm


   Do I take it that the Fire Brigade wanted to "test the waters?"



Comment by guitarman on January 21, 2012 at 11:43am

The problem is due to an expansive clay soil which expands and contracts accordingly with wet or dry periods.


Apparently the core samples were not examined or the engineers did not correctly estimate the amount of stable material that would need to be used for the project.

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