Crossland Heavy completed the central tunnels and trails for the City of Bella Vista. The project included seven separate tunnels built under major roadways, plus three new bridges. The ten new structures helped connect several mountain bike trails, creating a network of over 100 miles of trails that will allow safer travel for those biking or on foot in the Bella Vista area.
The tunnels ranged 9' - 10' or 9' in diameter and 56' to 112' in length. Four of the tunnel sections ran under existing state highways that had to remain open to the public for the build duration. To adjust for this, Crossland Heavy created bypass lanes on one side of the road while building half of the tunnel structure. Once the first side was complete, crews re-routed traffic to the new section of the roadway, then completed the second half. In addition to the tunnel structures, crews poured large concrete headwalls at each end. They installed block retaining walls that doubled as impressive visual focal points and created a transition from the tunnel to existing trailheads. The three new bridges, varied in lengths, were installed over different waterways. The bridges were 32' long, 90' long, and 340' long, the largest of which crosses Little Sugar Creek and is the longest non-traffic bearing bridge structure in Arkansas.
All new structures were installed at no cost to area taxpayers. Projects of this magnitude can be challenging to manage, due to factors like distance between each site, the frequent discovery of underground utilities, and tight working spaces. Our team did a great job of managing equipment, handling traffic issues, locating and protecting underground utilities, and working safely. Impressively, the final tunnel installed required CHC to navigate around 15 communication lines, one 8" water main, and an 8" sanitary sewer. CHC proved once again why our team is the one to call for enormous projects like these. Despite having 50+ lines to deal with throughout the project, not a single active underground or overhead utility was struck or damaged. Through tedious potholing, vac trucking, and careful excavating by the operators, the project team avoided costly utility strikes entirely. Additionally, CHC was very frugal with their material handling duties. In building the bypass lanes, our team used and reused several hundred yards of dirt to construct the roads miles apart.
We saved and repurposed every bit of dirt, eliminating the need to buy a single yard of topsoil for the entire project. At times, our crew would set topsoil aside several months ahead of when it was needed, a huge cost saver for the project. CHC also saved and reused pipe fittings and cold patch and used extra H beams for supports. From the very beginning, the mindset of our project team was to make every dollar spent count as much as possible.