Casey Covington, MetroPlan Executive Director is scheduled to speak at the November 9, 2023, General Meeting of Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas (BACA). Mr. Covington will be sharing information on MetroPlan’s recent grants for Regional Greenways and other transportation infrastructure in central Arkansas. Communities across the area were awarded millions of dollars for projects which include their regional greenways initiative, the Southwest Trail between Little Rock and Hot Springs, road diets in Little Rock, and other necessary infrastructure improvements. Mr. Covington will also answer questions about these projects.
Below is the article posted by Arkansas Outside in August 2023 defining many of these grant awards. All interested parties are welcome to the meeting being held at Whole Hog BBQ on Cantrell Road at 6:30 p.m. on November 9. Let BACA know you’re going to attend on their Facebook Event Page.
Southwest Trail receives over $5 Million and the Regional Greenway receives almost $2 Million
Little Rock – The Metroplan Board of Directors recently awarded $16.5 million towards transportation improvement in Central Arkansas. Funding is provided through the Surface Transportation Block Grant and Carbon Reduction Programs, federal-aid transportation programs administered by the Federal Highway Administration that provide funding for transportation improvement projects. Metroplan awards funding to qualifying projects based on applications from member jurisdictions and a rigorous review process. Below are the 15 projects that were awarded for the 2024 program cycle.
The list of awarded projects reflects the Metroplan Board’s commitment to investments in the Central Arkansas Regional Greenways, as well as projects that address several safety and
congestion issues at intersections.
2024 Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBG) Awarded Projects
- Austin has been awarded funding to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 38 and North Lincoln Street. The signal will improve safety and efficiency for motorists and pedestrians around a school zone and is expected to decrease the number of accidents.
- Benton has been awarded funding to construct 1.6 miles of the Regional Greenways, Southwest Trail, corridor from Market/Hazel St. intersection to the Saline River Bridge.
- Bryant has been awarded funding to engineer 2 miles of the Regional Greenways, Bryant Southwest Connector Trail, from Hill Farm Rd/Bryant Pwky intersection to Hwy 183/ Sardis Rd intersection. The larger trail will seamlessly connect Bryant residents to the Southwest Trail and help complete 12 miles of planned trails in the city.
- Cabot has been awarded funding to construct 1.1 miles of the Northeast corridor of the Regional Greenways. This section will start at the Cabot Freshman Academy and continue to the city of Austin city limits.
- Cabot has been awarded funding to engineer 2 miles of the Regional Greenways, Northeast corridor, from Lincoln/Pine St intersection to Kerr Station Park.
- Conway has been awarded funding to continue with the Salem Rd. improvement project between Dave Ward Dr. and College Ave. The project will accommodate current and future traffic, add curbs and gutters, and upgrade pedestrian/bicycle facilities.
- Greenbrier has been awarded funding to engineer a pedestrian overpass on Highway 65 connecting Greenbrier Junior High to Matthews Park. The overpass is integral to Greenbrier’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Master plan.
- Little Rock has been awarded funding to redesign Broadway Street from 17th Street to Roosevelt Road. This corridor will undergo a “road diet” that reconfigures the road from four to two lanes and adds a center turn lane; increasing safety for pedestrians, bike riders, and drivers.
- Little Rock has been awarded funding to reconstruct Markham Street from Cedar Street to Pearl Ave. The corridor will undergo a “road diet” that reconfigures the road from four to two lanes and adds a center turn lane to increase safety for pedestrians, bike riders, and drivers. The intersection at Markham and Kavanaugh will be reconstructed to improve safety for the foot traffic generated by local businesses.
- Maumelle has been awarded funding to construct 1 mile of the Regional Greenways, Northwest trail, corridor along Club Manor Road from Millwood Circle to Odom Boulevard. This project will be a part of connecting the Regional Greenways and will aid in generating a safer transportation mode.
- North Little Rock has been awarded funding to construct 4,200 feet of a Crystal Hill Road extension with an adjacent side path and other bike-pedestrian accommodations between Maumelle Blvd/Corporate Dr intersection to the city’s boundary with Maumelle. This project will provide more connectivity and safety while serving as an alternative to the often congested Maumelle Blvd.
- Sherwood has been awarded funding to engineer .9 miles of the Regional Greenways, Northeast corridor, from Gap Creek Drive to Oneida Street. This project will aid in the wider connection of the Regional Greenways and provide alternate transportation to pedestrians and cyclists.
- Wrightsville has been awarded funding to engineer concept plans to improve safety and efficiency on 145th Street. This design will explore a roundabout for the intersection at 145th St. and Hwy 365, as well as the benefits of adding curbs and gutters, sidewalks, and drainage improvements for the corridor.
- Pulaski County has been awarded funding to construct a portion of the Regional Greenways, Southwest Trail, corridor from the Pulaski/Saline County line to Central High School. This project will be a part of connecting the Regional Greenways and will provide alternative transportation for pedestrians and cyclists in Pulaski, Saline, and Garland Counties.
- Saline County has been awarded funding to construct 2.5 miles of the Regional Greenways, Southwest Trail corridor, from the Pulaski/Saline County line to Germania Road.