Due to a previous Superpave finish that did not hold up as anticipated and inclement weather in January, a section of DeSoto Boulevard in Hot Springs Village was plagued with many potholes and was rapidly deteriorating. It is thought that the reason the Superpave finish on the east end of the Village did not hold up as expected was possibly due to improper installation. Streets and Sanitation Superintendent Todd Noles said that this section of DeSoto was not expected to last another year as many potholes continued to form early this year. In 2023, this portion of the road was crack-sealed in an attempt to preserve it for a while longer, but plans did not go as intended.

Best solution – mill and repave

The Public Services Department decided that milling and repaving this area in March would be the best solution, and the Board approved $540,000 for this project.

RedRock Paving, a subcontractor for Cranford Asphalt, performed the DeSoto Boulevard mill work on Friday, March 1, and began the new asphalt installation at 7:30 the next morning under the watchful oversight of Superintendent Noles. The worker performing the milling operation said that this road was one of the worst he had ever milled; the road was in such poor shape that just driving his machine on it caused it to break up.

Cranford Construction – one of the best

Noles stated, “Cranford Construction has a reputation as being one of the best asphalt companies in the state of Arkansas. We have built a good relationship with this contractor. Seven or eight years ago, something happened and we lost our good relationship, and they stopped bidding on our contracts. We have managed to turn the relationship around, and hopefully, they will do more asphalt work for us in the future.”

More durable asphalt

Noles explained, “We used SMA-12.5 asphalt mix on DeSoto, which is a service mix used on Highways 5 and 7. It is designed for use in heavily traveled areas and will last longer. The aggregate is a little bigger than the SMA-9.5 service mix, which we used for overlays in the past. We hope the SMA-12.5 will be more durable for the heavy traffic on DeSoto and stand up better to the larger construction trucks.”

Todd Noles, Streets & Sanitation Superintendent in his office

The best-laid plans of mice and men

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. As the saying adapted from a line in “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns goes: “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” ― Robert Burns, To a Mouse

Unfortunately, due to no fault of the POA or Cranford, something did go awry on DeSoto Boulevard when a concrete truck spilled concrete on the newly laid asphalt on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 6. Although the mess was mostly cleaned up, there are some remnants.

Highway Graphics performs Village line striping

Highway Graphics put the finishing touch on the job by performing line striping on Tuesday, March 12. Noles said they will also have Highway Graphics do some touch-up striping work on stop bars and crosswalks and install RPMs (reflective road markers).


“All in all, it was a successful overlay. We didn’t have any complaints. Compaction testing results came in at 94 and 93. Anything over 90 is good,” stated the Street Superintendent.

The project came in at $70,000 under the expected cost of $470,000. Noles said the extra $70,000 will be used to complete additional asphalt work.

Unger weighs in

Ken Unger, Hot Springs Village Director of Public Services, stated, “Kudos to Matt Broom [Associate Director of Public Services] and Todd Noles for being able to get Cranford Construction, one of the top pavers in the state, to repair the damaged section of road on DeSoto Boulevard. At this time, it appears they did a fine job and this section of road is crowned and will shed water in a precipitation event. Proper water drainage on the road will result in a longer life span. Hopefully, this project will provide a model for future Village road projects.”

“We always try to get the most out of everything, and this project is no different in that we are reusing the millings from the old road in various locations around the village to provide a more stable parking lot environment at the dog park, Grove Park, boat ramps, and other needed areas,” explained the Public Services Director.

Unger said the millings provide a firmer and less dusty surface than gravel.

Balearic Project completed

Noles also recently contracted with Tri-Lakes to repair dips in a section of Balearic Road near Balboa Drive and Rodriguez Trace, starting on Friday, March 8, and completed on Tuesday, March 12.

Carmona Drive Culvert Project underway

Carmona Drive from Galicia Way to the intersection of Medina Way and Austurias Drive closed on Monday, March 11, due to a culvert replacement. The road closure is expected to last the whole week.

By Cheryl Dowden; Photography by Todd Noles

Featured image: Trucks delivering asphalt to the DeSoto Road Project.


Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village

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