Walnut Ridge city officials are taking on a sizable project to transform a gravel alley shared by several downtown businesses. They’re replacing the gravel with concrete and steel, from South West 3rd Street to Abbey Road.
Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, says it’s “to allow large trucks coming in and out to unload for the restaurants and businesses that have opened in the area.” He adds that “[it] is one of the busiest areas we have in town, because of recent growth.”
Mayor Snapp is glad to start the project after two years of delay. It addresses on-going issues with traffic, and flash flooding.
“Literally every time the water washes down the gravel alley, we’re having to come in. Street crews try to get it smooth,” adds Snapp, “and they’re fighting potholes worse than any other gravel road in the county.”
The project turns the alley into a drivable storm drain, ensuring excess rainwater from surrounding buildings and the parking lot, flows into the storm drains on Main Street. Preventing the road from washing out.
Christina Reynolds is the manager at Main Street Pizza, which is connected to the alley and parking lot. She looks forward to the concrete project’s completion.
“We have a lot of people that have a hard time getting in and out of here,” Reynolds says, “once they get this improved…people will be able to get in easier to parking spots, and to the restaurant.”
Construction is delicate, with crews actively avoiding water, gas and telephone lines about a foot beneath the alley’s surface. Work will likely continue for the next two weeks.
The overall cost of the project is likely to exceed 75-thousand dollars.