After a late February downpour, rushing water that could not get through a blocked culvert ended up washing away part of South Barcelona Road. The adjacent hillside washed away, filled the ditch and culvert, thus the water had nowhere else to flow except over the road and through the material under the road. This is the second road failure at that area.
Fortunately, nearby fiber optic cable and water lines were not damaged and are still functioning. Public utilities director Jason Temple showed the Hot Springs Village Voice the affected area last week and explained why the road has been closed and what’s ahead in terms of repair.
A geotechnical engineer has evaluated the area and soils to determine the area to be included in the repair work. “He did soil boing to determine the depth of (land) movement,” Temple said. From there the Village public works department worked with a firm to complete the planning of how to address the area, both for repair and to better stabilize the area so a third washout doesn’t occur in the future.
Temple said bids have gone out to qualified general contractors. Those bids describe what the scope of work is, plus the replacing of a 24-inch culvert with a 36-inch culvert. A larger culvert will not only allow fast-flowing water to run through it, but also rocks or other debris that would, in a smaller culvert, create a blockage.
Temple said the drainage area for this part of South Barcelona Road is only a little more than 10 acres, but the area is steep and the department wants to make sure the job is done correctly.
Temple said he is consulting on the project with street superintendent Alan Ault, who he praised for all the decades of work he’s done for the Village.