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Dear Mahatma: Why are streets paved in Little Rock so that manhole covers are a huge pot hole? There is one on Hinson Road in front of Pulaski Academy that I have to swerve to avoid! It has been that way for years. There is also a sunken trench in front of PA that I have to slow down to cross to protect my tires. It has been there over a year. Now would be the ideal time, with school out, to fix these. -- Sandy

Dear Sandy: Who knows more about manholes in Our Town than Jon Honeywell, the city's director of Public Works? We suspect he knows a lot about potholes, too. Over in North Little Rock, the city engineers know a lot about sinkholes, what with the problems at Dickey-Stephens Park.

But we digress, which is either a talent or a fault.

Honeywell said his people make every effort to level new pavement with manhole covers, which he also calls utility lids. To do so includes milling the street around the utility lids or installing a riser ring beneath it, then resurfacing the street to match the height.

Streets that have a more pronounced slope are more difficult to level out. The city is also blessed with numerous utilities which use lids of different sizes and shapes.

Public Works, Honeywell said, welcomes public input on manhole matters. Locations mentioned by Sandy have been reviewed. Staff is working to make the surfaces smoother.

O Great and Exalted One: The pointy truck lug nuts would be vicious, but even the smaller rounded ones can do plenty of damage. The driver brings the cab alongside a smaller vehicle and makes a sudden turn of the steering wheel, which gives new meaning to "bumper car." I drove my 1979 Ford for several years with the evidence. -- Sincerely Susan

Dear Susan: You reference a column about pointy lug nuts on big trucks. Are they legal? They are if the width of the truck is no more than 8 feet, 6 inches.

That information came from Chief Jay Thompson of the Arkansas Highway Police. The Highway Police spends most of its time monitoring and regulating the trucking industry.

Susan found Chief Thompson's remarks to be, um, disingenuous based on her experience.

We'd be happy to hear from other readers who, like Ben Hur and Susan, have been viciously bumped by a big chariot.

Dear Mahatma: You wrote earlier on a law in the last General Assembly on how bicyclists should regard stop signs and lights. Please repeat. -- Don

Dear Don: In the 2019 session, the Legislature passed and the governor signed Act 650 into law. It says a couple of important things.

Bicyclists need not always stop at stop signs now. They shall slow down and proceed only if traffic is clear and does not present an immediate hazard.

Under similar circumstances, bicyclists may now take off before cars at stoplights after stopping.

Vanity plate: ZOMZOOM.

Metro on 06/06/2020

Print Headline: Official on level about manholes


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