The repair of sinkholes in the outfield of Dickey-Stephens Park, home of the Arkansas Travelers (Class AA; Texas League), is running ahead of schedule and should be completed well before the start of the regular season.
As you’ll recall, sinkholes appeared on the Dickey-Stephens Park warning track late last fall and earlier this year. This isn’t new — the city and Travs front office needed to deal with sinkholes in previous years — but the number and size of sinkholes is causing some concern. The ballpark is located near the Arkansas River across from downtown Little Rock, and fluctuating water-table levels as well as the design of the original drainage system are cited as the cause for the sinkholes.
So the decision was made to fix the sinkholes as soon as possible in anticipation of the work being done in plenty of time for the April 7 opener. As of now, this deadline should be met easily, per Arkansas Online:
Work to repair the damage and to replace the ballpark’s drainage system began in January and is ahead of schedule, Chief City Engineer Chris Wilbourn said.
“Everything we’re doing now is completely aboveground,” Wilbourn said. “Nothing below the surface is remaining to be done. We’re rebuilding the warning track.”
In January, the City Council voted to waive competitive bidding and appropriate $375,000 toward emergency repairs to the ball field to avoid any risk of delaying season preparations for the Class AA Arkansas Travelers baseball team. Home games for the team begin April 7 at the park.
“At the time we started, I didn’t know if we could get 100 percent of the work done [by now],” Wilbourn said. “I thought there was the possibility we would have to go on after the season. We’re actually getting 100 percent done.”
RELATED STORIES: Sinkholes dot Dickey-Stephens Park warning track