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.


From the ArkTimes store

Speaking of John Burkhalter, Capitol Zoning Commission


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

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 »

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

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Go Fund Me Page. https://www.gofundme.com/RuthCokerBurks

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    • I grew up in Charleston and attended the College of Charleston, right around the corner…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: A week at Midtown

    • Beautifully & perfectly written. Maggie & Mistown are definitely unique & awesome!!

    • on July 21, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation