Arkansas State Highway Commission Approves Funding for Local Federal-aid Projects

Nix Creek trail expanded with addition of Jones Creek Bridge (courtesy City of Texarkana, Ark.)

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved more than $20 million in funding to applicants for Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program, and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) projects in Arkansas.

The TAP is a Federal-aid program established in 2013 that allows eligible sponsors to apply for funding to construct sidewalks and trails for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation, create systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers (children, older adults and individuals with disabilities) or other similar activities. This year, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) received 93 applications requesting more than $21 million. Seventy-one projects were selected to receive approximately $16 million in available funding.

The SRTS Program was established in 2005 and is used to enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school. These projects can include construction of infrastructure to improve the safety for pedestrians in the vicinity of schools or non-construction activities such as public awareness campaigns, traffic education, outreach programs and student bicycle safety training. This year, the AHTD received 39 applications requesting more than $6 million. Eight projects were selected to receive approximately $1.2 million in available funding.

The RTP is a very competitive Federal-aid program established in 1993 allowing cities, counties, state or federal government agencies, and non-profit groups to apply for funding for the construction or maintenance of recreational trails or trail facilities throughout the state. This year, the AHTD received 48 applications requesting almost $9 million. Twenty-eight projects were selected to receive approximately $3.2 million in available funding.

From the projects selected by the AHTD the City of Texarkana was awarded $227,252 for the below projects. With a required match from the City in the amount of $60,423.92. The matching funds are a combination of City funds in the amount of $37,687.97, the Partnership for the Pathway in the amount of $15,640.00 and City in-kind labor match of $7,095.95.

Project Total Project Cost Requested Award Match Grant
Jackson Street Trail & Bridge Connection $113,679.76 $ 90,943.81 $ 76,500 $ 22,735.95 RTP
Pinson Sidewalks (East 42nd Street to East 47th Street) $ 61,012.55 $ 48,810.04 $ 48,810 $ 12,202.55 TAP
Nix Creek Trail Extension (East 42nd Street to NW of Nix Creek) $ 82,940.93 $ 66,352.74 $ 66,353 $ 16,588.19 TAP
Pinson Sidewalks (Arkansas Blvd. to East 42nd Street) $ 44,486.19 $ 35,588.95 $ 35,589 $ 8,897.23 TAP
Total $302,119.43 $241,695.54 $227,252 $ 60,423.92

The Partnership for the Pathway created by John and Julie-Ray Harrison has been the City’s strongest supporter and backer for the City’s trail system.  We could not bring to fruition many of the trail and sidewalk projects the city has completed if it was not for the dedication of organizations such as, the Partnership for the Pathway that care about our great city.  The City Manager and staff would like to thank both the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Partnership for the Pathway for caring enough about Texarkana to make a difference.

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