Concerns about cracks along Arkansas River Trail

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Some THV 11 viewers are expressing concerns about land shifting in spots along the Arkansas River causing cracks in the trail.

The City of Little Rock is aware, and we're told the Parks and Recreation Department is constantly monitoring the land along the river. There is also a plan to fix the cracks, which is part of an even bigger project.

"It is a common problem all up and down from here up until Two Rivers and maybe up even further," said City of Little Rock Parks and Rec Deputy Director of Operations Mark Webre.

It is a common problem that has been fixed before. Back in 2009, a section of the trail slid right into the river. Since then, the bank has been built back up and re-enforced. Webre says a study was recently done showing the land in the area where the cracks are is stable. They got the study done because they are about to extend the trail about a quarter to a half a mile. They're also going to build a bridge over the railroad tracks and connect it to Cantrell Road.

"Before this trail was here, the railroad was here," said Webre. "They had their challenges. They had to fix things too over the years that they owned their property. They sustained their operation so there is no reason why we cannot sustain ours here."

"It is slumping ever so slowly into the river," said Arkansas Geological Survey Geologist Supervisor Doug Hanson.

Doug Hanson is a geologist. He has been studying land in Arkansas for more than 20 years. He says there is no way to predict when the land could give way.

"What happens is water gets in this crack, and it acts as the grease," said Hanson. "So big rain events, high water on the Arkansas River, those things would trigger this."

Work on extending the River Trail is expected to start this summer and be complete by the end of the year. Fixing the cracks will be part of that. It is about a $1.1 million project.


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