WRID Receives $5M for Road Crossing, Pump Station Work
The White River Irrigation District (WRID) recently received $5 million to continue work on portions of the Grand Prairie Irrigation project.
“We will use the funding to build five county road crossings,” Robert Moery, with WRID, said. “The funding will also be leveraged into matching federal dollars for completion of the pump station in De Valls Bluff.”
This funding came through the Natural Resources Division of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (ADA) through the American Rescue Plan Act, according to Moery. It required approval from the governor, American Rescue Plan Steering Committee, Arkansas Legislative Council, and the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC).
“We certainly can use this funding,” Dennis Carman, chief engineer and director of WRID, said. “The road crossings and right of way are 100 percent local cost. This grant reduces the local funding and results in keeping our water cost down.”
The entire project, once complete, will bring affordable water to area farmers in portions of Prairie, Arkansas, Lonoke and Monroe Counties.
One county road crossing has been completed between Hazen and Devalls Bluff on Downs Road, north of Highway 70. Construction for that crossing included the placing of 65 concrete boxes and rerouting traffic while the crossing was being built.
This funding will provide five additional crossings located on Old Highway 70, Woodlawn Avenue, Highway 11, Chudy Road and Airport Road just west of the Hazen Airport in Prairie County.
The boxes for Old Highway 70 are being stored at the WRID storage yard off Old Highway 70 Road where they will be moved and placed for the canal crossings. These boxes have an opening of 10-foot by 10-foot, are six-foot in length and weigh almost 20 tons each and are visible from the highway.
They will be laid side by side to create the needed flow. The box ends are formed such that the joints nest and become watertight. Five boxes are required for the current canal size and will be reduced as construction continues downstream with less water flow required. A typical county road crossing requires 65 to 80 boxes. Upon completion, the traffic will travel over the canal.
The precast boxes are made in West Memphis and then transported to the site.
The Downs Road crossing has 65 boxes installed. There are five rows of the concrete culverts with 13 boxes per row. Future crossings will be similar.
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