University of Arkansas police blocked off Lindell Avenue near Futrall Hall for about 45 minutes Wednesday morning, after a suspicious device was seen on top of a metal plate of a utility covert near the sidewalk, UA officials stated today.
The device turned out to pose no threat.
The device appeared to be electronic, with a wire running under the lid. A caller reported the device to police at 7:44 a.m., and the street was promptly closed to traffic and pedestrians.
Officials with the UA’s Facilities Management division were contacted, but could not identify the device, so the UAPD’s K-9 unit was called in for an investigation.
A bomb sniffing dog helped determine that the device was harmless, and the road was re-opened.
“In a situation like this we always want to take every necessary precaution,” said UAPD Lt. Vance Rice. “Safety is always our first concern.”
Officials said it was later discovered that the device was a city remote transmitter that collects water meter information. It is permanently attached to the underside of the metal plate and connected by a wire to a water meter below. The transmitter allows city workers to read the meter and monitor water usage remotely. UA officials said someone apparently turned the metal plate over Tuesday night exposing the transmitter to drivers and pedestrians.