This past Monday marked the official start-date of work on the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, a former railroad crossing that will be converted into a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Arkansas River.
Conversion of the bridge has long been a priority for central Arkansas cyclists. Plans were announced nine years ago, but work delay, design challenges, and escalating costs prevented the City of Little Rock from meeting the original completion date, which was November 2004. Along with $1 million from Little Rock and $2.6 million from the Clinton Foundation, the funds to renovate the bridge include $2.5 million in federal stimulus money and $2 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The City of North Little Rock also contributed $750,000 to the project.
Completion of the bridge will close the 14-mile Arkansas River Trail Loop. According to the City, the bridge is less expensive and easier to cross than the elevator and stairs incorporated into the conversion of the nearby Junction Bridge.
As a cyclist, I welcome this news and look forward to the day that I can cross the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge.