Work Approved To Begin Repairing Flood Damage At The Port Of Fort Smith

(TB&P) –The Fort Smith Port Authority has agreed to take steps to get the Port of Fort Smith back in condition to open for business. The authority signed a contract with Studio 6 Architects to render professional architectural and engineering design services to rebuild two buildings, parking and a truck scale at the Port of Fort Smith.

The facilities were damaged during record flooding of the Arkansas River in May. The contract, approved during the authority’s Thursday (Oct. 31) meeting, stipulates the cost of services not to exceed $140,000.

The port authority approved a resolution to award a contract for the cleanup and demolition of damaged facilities to Haston Recycling LLC in a special meeting Aug. 7.

Once the design work is completed, a construction manager will step in to rebuild. A contract for that service is still in negotiations. Marty Shell, Ports of Fort Smith and Van Buren operator and owner of Five Rivers Distribution in Van Buren, said he hoped that contract would be completed sometime next week.

The port authority authorized Shell to purchase and install a new scale at the port at a cost of $54,000 and to do to necessary railroad work at the site at a cost of $50,000, Shell said. To help with the costs of repair and rebuilding, the port received a grant for $295,593 from the Arkansas Waterways Commission Wednesday (Oct. 30) to “reconstruct and repair the port facility from damage caused by 2019 flood event,” Shell said.

Other grant recipients were:
• Helena-West Helena/Phillips County Port Authority — $304,028 to improve water supply for current and future tenants of Helena Harbor through the phase three of the Helena Harbor Water Improvement Project;
• Osceola Port Authority — $300,000 for port access road improvement and resurfacing;
Chicot-Desha Metropolitan Port Authority —$204,678 to upgrade the overhead bridge crane previously installed in 1995;
• Little Rock Port Authority — $167,713 for construction of a heavy equipment connector road; and
• Crossett Port Authority — $ 55,000.00 for expansion of storage space in Warehouse #2 to meet the needs of the Rescue Unit.

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