By Melody Pake
Editor’s note: Below is a guest post from Maumelle resident Melody Pake on the ongoing Crystal Hill Road Saga. It has been lightly edited and formatted for publication
As of June 12, 3,898 days have passed since voters said yes to the $3.2 million Crystal Hill Road bond project.
2012 voters approved $3.2 million bonds
In Fall 2012, Maumelle voters approved $3.2 million to redesign about 3 miles of Crystal Hill Road.
In 2018 voters asked if it was going to take another election to fix the Crystal Hill Road potholes.
In Spring of 2018, six years had passed and no shovel had hit the ground. With another sales tax on the ballot, the failure to start this 2012 bond project became a bone of contention for voters. Potholes made the road unsafe and nearly impassable in spots. After a social media and citizen outcry, the city patched the road. It was understood those patches were a temporary fix until construction would begin.
In 2019 we ushered in a new mayor with a promise to kick start this old 2013 bond project. Holloway Engineering was hired to redesign the road that included bike trails and lights. Residents were excited this long overdue project would soon be underway.
In June of 2020 the bid was awarded to Broyles Construction. Work began at a snail's pace for better part of an entire year.
The job was halted in summer 2021 due to a dispute over who was to pay to relocate the utility lines. The ballot clearly stipulated the bonds would pay to relocate the utilities.
The Entergy issue was resolved the first part of September 2021, giving Broyles Construction the green light to proceed with construction.
As of December 2021, there were deep holes in road, no safety barriers, and little progress made. The local news ran a story on the project.
The completion was pushed out to June of 2022. That deadline has passed.
The voters approved this bond project in Fall 2012. The bonds are paid off, but the road still isn't finished.
All but around $365,000 has been spent of the $3.2 million bonds.
With inflation and passage of time, no one knows when or if the bond project will be completed or what the final actual costs will be or if will exceed the $3.2 million voters approved back in 2012.
127 months after voters approved the Crystal Hill Road project the bonds are paid off, but the project is still unfinished.
Once completed, it will be a great aesthetic boost to the Maumelle river front property with hopes of future commercial development. This road is rich in Arkansas history.
We need to finish the road and honor its heritage.