Woodlane Drive Drainage Improvements

Project Description

Little Rock voters passed a 3/8 cent sales tax in 2011 to fund street and drainage improvements for the City. It was anticipated that the tax would generate $72 million in capital funding over a 10-year period. Little Rock’s Public Works Department solicited project requests from across the City to equitably distribute the benefit from the tax to all of its citizens. This project was one of the improvements selected for implementation in Ward 1. Woodlane Drive intersects with Markham Drive directly in front of the historic Little Rock Union Station. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure was constructed in 1921 by the Missouri Pacific Railroad after a fire destroyed the previous structure in 1920. The current structure used existing foundations, some exterior walls, and the clock tower from the previous station that survived the fire. The structure is currently used for office space. During significant rainfall events, stormwater rushing down Markham and Woodlane would converge in front of the station causing damaging flash floods. The flood waters have been recorded to be as much as 6 feet deep in areas, submerging cars and entering nearby buildings. Little Rock Public Works entrusted Hawkins-Weir Engineers with the important task of mitigating the flood potential without disturbing the historic railroad station property. Advanced hydraulic modeling concluded that additional drainage conduit ranging from 18 to 24-inches in diameter was needed to address the flooding. The budget for this project was $400,000. Hawkins-Weir Engineers utilized its advanced modeling software to produce an efficient design with a minimal capital cost. The low bid received in August 2014 was almost 50% below budget at approximately $234,000.