The Facilities Management Section is responsible for the design and development of Plans and Specifications and project oversight for construction of new or remodeled buildings, including:
- - Central Office Complex Facilities
- - 10 District Headquarters
- - 84 Area Headquarters
- - 32 Resident Engineer Offices
- - 24 Rest Areas and 12 Tourist Information Centers
- - Weigh Stations
Facilities Management supports and promotes tourism and recreation by designing and assisting in providing Tourist Information Centers and “park-like” Rest Areas. The purpose of these facilities is for the use of the traveling public and they are maintained as such.
The Department, as guided by Facilities Management, constructs Tourist Information Centers at all of the State’s major ports of entry. These Centers are owned, operated and maintained by the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and staffed by Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism personnel for the distribution of tourist literature and to provide helpful information to the traveling public as it pertains to the State’s tourist attractions.
The Department, with the assistance of Facilities Management, strategically locates Rest Areas and Tourist Information Centers to provide the services that the traveling public has come to expect and depend on. Facilities Management utilizes research data from other states, FHWA and AASHTO in the implementation of new designs and in the sizing of Rest Areas and Tourist Information Centers.
Facilities Management is responsible for the mechanical and electrical design required by the Department; acting as Resident Engineer for Central Office related building projects and various statewide building projects; assisting the Districts in the maintenance of all their facilities and related equipment and appurtenances; and assessing the present physical condition of Department facilities thru an ongoing process of inspections
Vegetation Management Program
The Facilities Management Section is responsible for the design and implementation of the Department’s Vegetation Management Program; and guidance in Roadside Development, including the establishment and maintenance of turf, both by chemical and mechanical means.
Also, the Department’s Agronomist is responsible for the coordination of Certification/Re-certification meetings with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service to ensure Right-of-Way Certification for Department employees.
Vegetation management along highway rights of way affords the following:
- To maintain the integrity of the paved surface
- To prevent or reduce erosion
- To provide for the safety of the traveling public
- To provide for efficient maintenance practices
- To maintain drainage
- To provide an aesthetically pleasing right of way
Vegetation management consists of both mechanical and chemical means. Mechanical methods of vegetation control include hand pulling, cultivation, trimming, and mowing. Chemical methods include the application of approved herbicides to control or suppress problem vegetation. Herbicide use is a key element to be used in combination with mechanical methods for roadside vegetation management.
Well-trained and well-informed personnel are necessary for the success of this program. A “Daily Herbicide Spray Report” is completed for every application and kept on file for a period of two years. Each is trained by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service; then, by passing an exam administered by the State Plant Board, certified in the Rights of Way category.
Landscaping The Facilities Management Section is responsible for the design of major and minor Landscape Improvement Projects; and for establishment and maintenance of ornamental shrubs, and ground cover statewide, including assisting the Districts at their facilities and designated roadside areas.
The primary goal of landscaping as it relates to the Department is to enhance the overall visual quality of the environment thru design, implementation and maintenance as well as to provide safeguards, which are designed to protect the quality and integrity of existing environment. The following objectives when applicable are implemented:
- Enhance structures and surrounding grounds through the use of landscaping such as trees and shrubs
Enhance areas through the use of planters, picnic tables, trash receivers, walkways, etc.
Enhance appearances of right-of-ways and other properties thru the use of landscaping.
Facilities Management is committed to providing a safe, efficient, aesthetically pleasing environment for the user throughout the design, construction and maintenance phases of facilities and roadsides by:
- Designs that take into account user activities, such as the creation of modern “mall-type” entrances which direct the user to a centralized location through the selective use of raised planters and redwood bench seating.
Projects that involve the design and construction of retaining walls using modern precast stonewall blocks in areas where slopes are excessively steep and hard to maintain. Landscaping is incorporated in these projects either in conjunction with the retaining walls or in raised planters in outlying areas.
Electrical Construction And Maintenance
The Facilities Management Section is responsible for new “in-house” electrical construction and major electrical maintenance at all Department facilities; and bucket-truck operations for roadway and bridge lighting and related electrical equipment and appurtenances.
Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program
The Facilities Management Section is responsible for the Underground Storage Tank Program (design and oversight) for Department owned and operated USTs in accordance with the requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).
The Department upgraded all underground storage tanks from 1989 to 1997 in order to comply with The Resource Conservation Act of 1984, at a cost of $1,020,471.82. These tanks were installed with Department personnel and equipment resulting in a major cost savings. There are currently 96 locations and 194 underground storage tanks. Facilities Management personnel are licensed tank installers and provide any technical assistance or compliance issues that may need to be addressed regarding USTs.
As the Department builds new Area Headquarters, underground storage tanks are installed to ensure total compliance with all EPA/ADEQ regulations. The station attendants at the District Headquarters and county Area Headquarters are required to perform a monthly inspection of the monitoring wells located within the tank excavations. These monthly inspections are a form of leak detection required by the EPA/ADEQ and a copy of the form used by the attendants is attached.
Video Surveillance Systems
The Department contracted the installation of the video surveillance systems under Job 001820 in 1998 to provide safety/security at all Interstate Rest Areas and Tourist Information Centers. There are 19 interstate locations with 20 video surveillance systems, consisting of a camera, video recorder (VHS), and monitor. The Rest Area attendants are required to perform a daily checklist (EXAMPLE FIGURE 14) to ensure proper operation of the system. Facilities Management provides technical assistance, equipment replacement/repair, and quarterly VHS tape replacement.
Sewage Treatment Plants
Sewage treatment plants are typically located at the Rest Area locations, due to either the remote location of the facility or the lack of local sanitary sewer system. The Rest Area attendants that make adjustments to the plant and perform operational tests are required to have a wastewater treatment operator license. The duties of the attendants include daily maintenance inspections with a checklist to be completed, including daily visual inspections of the plant with ph and DO (dissolved oxygen) tests to be run and documented on an operator’s log.
Also, they must take monthly flow measurements, chlorine residual and ph tests, with a monthly report to be completed. The inspector takes samples for a quarterly DMR (Discharge Monitoring Report) as required of the Department’s NPDES (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System) permit.