CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - During his walk to the library Tuesday evening, UCA sophomore Abisai Quiroz came across an unusual sight as he approached campus.
“I saw a bunch of machinery and there was a huge hole and it looked like they were laying new piping in there,” Quiroz said.
Crews were working to fill in a sinkhole that opened during rush hour at the intersection of Donaghey Avenue and Robins Street.
“Along the Donaghey corridor, we have older aging pipes,” City of Conway Communications Coordinator Bobby Kelly said. “They’re all made out of older galvanized metal and, over time, those rust. That’s what happened here. I can’t tell you exactly when that happened, but over time, storm water was leaking out of that pipe. It washed away the bedrock,” he said.
That caused the road to give, Kelly said. City street crews closed the road, working through the night to have it reopened by Wednesday morning rush hour.
Donaghey is among the most traveled roads in Conway and one many people believe needs to be improved.
“It's the worst street in Conway -- just the bumps. Your suspension takes a beating every time you drive through here,” Quiroz said.
Kelly said the city is aware of complaints about Donaghey Avenue.
“We want to review it as quickly as possible but we want to be as responsible as possible,” he said.
According to Kelly, the sinkhole highlights why simply re-paving Donaghey would not be in the city's best interest.
“If we were to apply make-up to the road with an asphalt overlay, we run the risk of having to dig it up again if problems like this happen in the future,” Kelly said.
Instead, Conway Corp will remove or replace the aging water and sewer lines in 2019. Once that’s complete, the city plans to completely re-build Donaghey between Dave Ward Drive and Prince Street.