Marina hits snag 

Little Rock businessman and state Highway Commissioner John Burkhalter seems to have a knack for hangups with regulatory agencies.

His plan to build a five-story office building at Sixth and Woodlane in front of the state Capitol has run into objections from neighbors and the staff of the Capitol Zoning Commission, who want to preserve the three-story height limitation in the area intended to prevent obstruction of Capitol views.

Just down Capitol Avenue, at the Little Rock office of the Army Corps of Engineers, plans for a Burkhalter marina on the Arkansas River are in flux because of fears that his plan could pose a danger to barge traffic on the river.

Burkhalter has proposed to build the Rock City Yacht Club on the south side of the river about a half-mile downstream from the Clinton Library. His original plan called for a fueling operation, restaurant, store and docking for about 480 boats.

State and local officials have supported the project as an economic boon. Federal agencies have raised questions about environmental and wildlife habitat, but particularly navigation safety.

The most serious objections have come from the navigation section of the Corps, which opposed the plan as originally filed. And, last week, the Coast Guard, which oversees river traffic, also said it opposed the marina because of navigation concerns.

However, a Corps spokesman said, the Coast Guard based its objection on one, but not the latest, of four versions of the marina that have brought construction progressively closer to shore from the navigation channel.

The latest plan brings the farthest extension of the marina to inside the reach of the rock dikes that jut into the river to protect the navigation channel.

The navigation channel hugs the shoreline on the stretch of the river where the marina would be built, and the Corps says maneuverability at that point is difficult for the commercial traffic, particularly in times of high water and fast current.

Mark Redder, project manager for the Holloway Firm, which is overseeing engineering for Burkhalter, said the last revision of the plan would reduce marina capacity to 400 boats. He said that would begin to approach a tipping point on economic viability of the project.


Speaking of John Burkhalter, Capitol Zoning Commission


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Issue 3: blank check

    Who could object to a constitutional amendment "concerning job creation, job expansion and economic development," which is the condensed title for Issue 3 for Arkansas voters on Nov. 8?
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Latest in The Insider

  • All in the family

    Old habits die hard. We may have a new Republican majority in the legislature, but like the old Democratic majority, it still doesn't hurt to have a lawmaker spouse to land a part-time job during the legislative session.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • 'Circuit breaker' legal

    When we first asked Gov. Mike Beebe about the "circuit breaker" idea out of Arizona (automatically opting out of Medicaid expansion if the feds reduce the matching rates in the future), he said it was fine but noted that states can already opt out at any time, an assurance he got in writing from the feds.
    • Jan 30, 2013
  • Church goes to school in Conway

    An interesting controversy is brewing in Conway Public Schools, periodically a scene of discord as more liberal constituents object to the heavy dose of religion that powerful local churches have tried to inject into the schools, particularly in sex education short on science and long on abstinence.
    • Jan 23, 2013
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

Jodi Morris's lifelong ties to the National Park Service

"History is always happening" at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Leslie Rutledge, the absent attorney general

    Arkansas loses out to Trump love, Obama hate.
  • Trump country

    Even in deep red Arkansas, Trump could damage some down-ballot Republicans — but will boost others.
  • Left and right against Issue 3

    Also, Huck spinning on Trump, not in our backyard and more.
  • Moving

    The Observer will be moving soon. Not out of The Observatory, thank God, as we're sure it will take the wagon from the 20 Mule Team Borax box to get us away from there after 14 years of accumulation, plus a team of seasoned Aussie wildlife wranglers to herd our pair of surly wildcats into a crate. No, just out of the office we've been in at the Fortress of Employment for going on five years, which is bad enough. We're moving to the other side of the building here in a few months.
  • Thanks!

    In less than two weeks, We the People are about to roll the dice and elect our next president. Just enough time left to dash off a few well-deserved thank you notes ... .

Most Recent Comments


© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation