City proposes park gateway from new Broadway Bridge | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, July 26, 2014

City proposes park gateway from new Broadway Bridge

Posted By on Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 6:52 AM

click to enlarge PARK LINK PLANNED: Pedestrians and bikers should have a link to Riverfront Park under city plan to enhance Broadway Bridge replacement design.
  • PARK LINK PLANNED: Pedestrians and bikers should have a link to Riverfront Park under city plan to enhance Broadway Bridge replacement design.

click to enlarge GATEWAY: Planned from Broadway Bridge to park (green shading along river.)
  • GATEWAY: Planned from Broadway Bridge to park (green shading along river.)
The city of Little Rock has a plan to spend $288,000 to design a Riverfront Park gateway from the new Broadway Bridge.

An item placed on the City Board's agenda meeting next week would authorize the payment to the state Highway and Transportation Department to change its design for the replacement Broadway Bridge, supposed to be under construction by the end of the year. The money would allow the state to create a "western gateway and entrance to Riverfront Park."

The park ends about a block east of the bridge.

According to the agenda:

The Gateway Concept enhancements include a sixteen (16)- foot wide shared use path from the bridge to Riverfront Park, overlooks, an additional sixteen (16)-foot wide bridge consisting of two (2), thirty (30)-foot long spans, and twelve (12)-foot wide trails to accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists. Funds in the amount of $288,000.00 will be needed to effect the change in the plans to create the new gateway entrance.

The proposal doesn't include a drawing, sorry to say. It also doesn't mention how the cost of the work itself will be paid other than by being accommodated in the federally paid project's cost. About $58 million is coming from federal money. Pulaski County is contributing $20 million to enhance the design.

Bids are supposed to be taken in September, but the dwindling federal highway trust fund is causing delays in state projects. The project could take two years. It'll make traffic a mess downtown. Looming, too, is an Interstate 30 widening and bridge replacement project. Some of the widening and exit work could begin while the Broadway Bridge is closed, further bollixing downtown traffic.

Speaking of which, from the Downtown Little Rock Partnership:

As you are aware, we are following the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department's (AHTD) widening of I-30 closely. All of us who live, work, play and invest in downtown have an interest in this project. There will be a couple of public meetings coming up next month:

Tuesday, August 12, 4-7 p.m., 100 Main Street, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Bank of the Ozarks Conference Center

Thursday, August 14, 4-7 p.m., 707 I-30 (Little Rock), Comfort Inn & Suites Presidential, Cash/Campbell Ballroom, 707 I-30

The meetings will be held in an "open house" format and will present identical content. If you have any thoughts or ideas, please come out and share.

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