Groundbreaking Held to Announce Public Infrastructure Improvements at the Port of Little Rock

Over $11 Million in New Public Infrastructure Will Help Bring Two New Industries to the Port

Local, state and federal leaders gathered today for a groundbreaking ceremony on new transportation infrastructure at the Port of Little Rock. Construction has now begun to widen and improve Zeuber Road to meet heavy industrial standards in anticipation of two new companies locating there. The $5 million project was made possible through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock and Pulaski County.

In addition to the Zeuber Road improvements, the Port of Little Rock also announced an additional $6 million in public infrastructure funds for additional road widening, intersection improvements and new road construction to accommodate increased transportation capacity needs associated with the new companies. Funding for these improvements was provided through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Delta Regional Authority, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock, and Pulaski County.

As the Port continues to acquire land for future industrial sites, this more than $11 million in transportation infrastructure improvements will help existing companies’ expansion opportunities while being key to attracting even more new companies to the Port of Little Rock. The improvements will also provide a safer and more efficient transportation system for employees, customers, and suppliers.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical that our infrastructure keep pace with the growing demands of industry in Arkansas,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “The Port of Little Rock is a prime area for business. Once completed, the Zeuber Road project will be an important asset for businesses that require easily navigable infrastructure to support workforce and trade.”

“This ceremony marks a big day for our state. Home to over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people, the Port of Little Rock is the largest industrial hub in central Arkansas,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman. “Those numbers are about to grow once again, proving that investments in infrastructure truly do promote economic expansion and job growth. I look forward to CZ-USA and Amazon’s contribution to the long-term development in the region.”

“The Port of Little Rock is a key component of the capital’s economic engine that facilitates commerce, trade, and job growth,” said Senator Tom Cotton. “The port’s modernization will ensure that Little Rock and our state remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

“With over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people, the Port of Little Rock is the largest industrial hub in our area. I am pleased that my efforts with Senator Boozman and Senator Cotton encouraged the Delta Regional Authority to approve funding for infrastructure upgrades at the Port,” said Representative French Hill. “Judge Barry Hyde and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce understand that these improvements will make central Arkansas more attractive for new business. Their partnership with the Economic Development Agency will continue to spur investment in our region and long-term job growth.”

“Today is a momentous occasion for the City of Little Rock, Pulaski County, and the Arkansas Delta region, where the union of federal, state, and local entities work to improve existing infrastructure and further develop an area that will attract new industries and create an economic impact felt far beyond the Port of Little Rock,” said the Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.

“The Port is one of the county’s most important assets, which is why investing in the core infrastructure of the Port has been a focal point of Pulaski County Government and my administration,” stated Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “The long-anticipated development and improvements to Zeuber Road will support the growing number of vehicles needing to safely access the Port. Having the necessary infrastructure in place is why companies like Amazon, CZ USA and HMS Manufacturing are choosing to invest and locate their operations in Pulaski County. At a time when jobs are at a premium, I am confident that our investments will be a jobs creator as we attract evermore industries to Central Arkansas.”

“This is an example of new public infrastructure investments leading to new jobs for the residents of Little Rock,” said Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. “I am excited and grateful the Port of Little Rock will undergo these improvements, which will help our city recruit new companies as well as retain our current businesses.”

“Little Rock’s location and business-friendly environment make it an ideal choice for companies looking to invest, and I’m confident that improvements to the infrastructure at the Port of Little Rock will continue to attract new business to the area,” Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Increasing the industrial quality of Zeuber Road will benefit the city and its economic partners for many years to come.”

The Port of the Little Rock serves as a logistics hub for the area having immediate access to rail, highway, and waterway, offering convenient intermodal shipping solutions. The Port is part of the 448-mile McClelland-Kerr Arkansas River, which runs from the Mississippi River northwest to 15 miles east of Tulsa. The port has over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people.

“The chamber’s role is to support both our private and public partners to provide meaningful opportunities for our residents,” said Little Rock Regional Chamber Chairman Ronnie Dedman.” “It was a team effort across the public and private sector to make these infrastructure investments happen which will have a lasting effect on the port and its ability to attract and retain companies.”

“The Port of Little Rock was created over 60 years ago to create jobs for the region,” said Port of Little Rock Chair Melissa Hendricks. “These infrastructure improvements have already helped create a number of new jobs and will be a catalyst to help create more new jobs in the future.”

About Port of Little Rock

Centered on global trade, the unique advantage of the Port of Little Rock is the central location and intermodal transportation facilities. In addition to having access on the Arkansas River year-round, the Port provides immediate access to major U.S. interstates, Class I railways, and national runways. The Port is within a day’s drive of many of the nation’s largest population centers and is surrounded by a population of more than one million people. The Port of Little Rock provides multifaceted companies with seamless, nimble, and undisputed logistic channels from the heart of the United States.


Pulaski County Offices Closed for July 3 in Observance of Independence Day

Pulaski County Offices are closed Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day. Garbage routes will run as normal. The sanitation office is closed Friday for the holiday.

Pulaski County recognizes Juneteenth as holiday for employees

In observance of Juneteenth Pulaski County offices will be closed Friday June 19th, 2020.
Please click here to read Executive Order from Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde.

Notice of Public Hearing – Development Code and Master Road Plan

The Pulaski County Planning Board will hold a Public Informational Hearing on proposed amendments to the Pulaski County Subdivision and Development Code and the Pulaski County Master Road Plan on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 at 3:00 pm.  The meeting will be a call-in video conference meeting.  An invitation to all interested parties will be forthcoming.  Copies of the Amended Pulaski County Subdivision and Development Code and Master Road Plan can be obtained from the Pulaski County Planning & Development office located at 3200 Brown Street, Little Rock.  You may call 501-340-8260 for additional information.

Notice of Public Hearing on Application for Community Development Block Grant Program

A virtual Public Hearing via the Zoom App will be held Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at 10 a.m., for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing the community needs of Pulaski County, determining whether an application for Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program (ACEDP) funds should be developed and if so, for what community need. Also, comments on proposed project activities will be discussed, especially those with possible impacts on the community, should the project receive funding.

ACEDP funds are federal assistance received by the State of Arkansas and administered by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. These funds will be made available to cities and counties according to need and can be used for community facilities, public infrastructure, or economic development, but must address one of the following objectives:

  1. Provide benefit to low- and moderate-income families,
  2. Aid in the prevention of slum and blight, or
  3. Meet other community needs, which pose a serious, immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community where no other funding is available to meet such needs.

All residents of Pulaski County are encouraged to attend the virtual hearing and participate in the community development process. Pulaski County will provide technical assistance in developing proposals by groups representing low- and moderate-income persons.

Individuals requiring physical or sensory accommodations including interpreter service, Braille, large print, or recorded materials, please contact Kimberly Simpson at (501) 340-3343 no later than May 27, 2020. Accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and non-English speaking individuals provided that a 3-day notice is received by the Pulaski County.

To join the Zoom public hearing use the following information:
Meeting ID: 867-023-8728
Access Code: 2GcZ7N

EPA Announces Six-Figure Grant to Pulaski County for Brownfields program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pulaski County, Ark., and the Southwest Arkansas Planning & Development District announced $600,000 in total grant money. The funding—$300,000 for each recipient—is provided by EPA’s Brownfields Program for cleanup and assessment of abandoned or contaminated properties (known as brownfields).

Pulaski County will receive $300,000 for assessments in East Little Rock and the 21st Corridor, which runs between Main and I-30 in Little Rock.

County Judge Barry Hyde said, “We’ve enjoyed a great partnership with the EPA in the past years. County staff, Community Services Director Fred Love and brownfields administrator Josh Fout have been very successful in using the funds. With the exception of Our House, most have been private development in Little Rock and North Little Rock’s Argenta Community. We’ve got an energized staff and look forward to more success and more rewards.”

Youth Services Summer Programs Go Virtual in Spite of Virus National Grip

With schools closed, afterschool programs shuttered and summer programs in the balance, what is an agency that provides services to the youth of Pulaski County to do?  Keep with its spirit and passion of supporting youth of our county, that’s what!

“That’s who we are,” Pulaski County Youth Services Director Jamie Scott said. “My staff is committed to the parents and kids in our programs. I feel it is important that we stay connected and give them a sense of normalcy during an ‘abnormal’ event.”

Faced with social distancing directives from the governor, Pulaski County Youth Services brainstormed ways in which to keep their parents and participants engaged. PCYS plans to launch a virtual programming campaign through the department’s Facebook page to include virtual college tours, weekly reading led by community leaders, and exercise programs with PCYS partners.

“The idea of virtual programming started with Virtual Signing Day,” said Scott. “Our seniors are graduating this year without the pomp and circumstance. Many have been in our programs for years. This was our way of celebrating their accomplishments,” she said. “It has been well received by the students and parents. We’ve even showcased our own staff who have completed college degrees.”

PCYS is also providing virtual educational, artistic and fun courses for youth of all ages as well as their parents. Beginning in May, we have a myriad of activities that the families of Pulaski County can participate in, including: Social and Emotional Health Sessions, Language – Spanish and Sign Language Sessions, Fitness – Cardio and Yoga Sessions, Arts – Painting and Cookie Decorating Sessions, Recess – Fun and Dancing with DJ Dez and much more! Keep up with the latest PCYS programs and visit the PCYS Facebook page for more information.

2020 Census Takes a Hit During Pandemic

Census 2020 marks the first time U.S. citizens have the ability to complete the census online. This is welcomed news to many, as it should make participation easier. Getting a complete count in Arkansas was promising.  Committees around the state were doing their part in getting out the count. Cities and counties banded together and reached out to residents to encourage the completion of the Census through traditional and social media. COVID-19 soon proved to be a pretty large road block between outreach and the people, bringing most outreach to a halt and self-response rates to a crawl.

Arkansas ranks between 36th and 38th place in self-response. Pulaski County moves among the ranks between 10th and 12th place; cities within the county range from second place to 304th place out of 499 Arkansas cities. The pandemic has hampered in-person outreach across the state, and for Pulaski County, in-person outreach is imperative to getting a complete count in our historically hard-to-count areas.

But there is good news! The U.S. Census plans to drop off paper forms to households without physical mailing addresses this month in the Little Rock and Fayetteville areas. The U.S. Census has also adjusted its timeline to offset the impact of the pandemic. Census takers will begin to canvas communities in August through October. Pulaski County hopes to resume in-person community outreach in June and July.

Please encourage friends and family to complete the census at

Public Works Rolls On

Over the course of the public health crisis, Pulaski County Public Works has overcome some challenges.  But one thing is for sure, the department has kept rolling along. The county’s maintenance needs do not take time off; potholes must be filled, trash services still have routes to run, right-of-ways must be cut and mosquitos still get sprayed.

In January, Public Works Director Steve Brummett preemptively worked with his directors to design a plan of action complete with rotating schedules and essential staffing needs. One important task was adjusting employee schedules to ensure their safety.  When the county judge declared a state of emergency, our directors were ready.

Social distancing measures were implemented such as separate staff meetings instead of group meetings.  Drivers are required to ride alone and are required to sanitize vehicles with disinfectant daily instead of weekly.  When crews are out in the field, they are encouraged to social distance and wear as much PPE as they can and still work safely. Office staff wear face masks and a jug of hand sanitizer is easily accessible. Anyone who believes they have been exposed to the virus are sent home.

“We are taking a business as usual approach while staying safe,” Steve Brummett said. “By installing preventive measures, my staff and I believe Public Works can continue to provide services to county residents.”

Office of Emergency Management Kick Into High Gear

County Judge Barry Hyde declared a state of emergency on March 13 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Pulaski County Office of Emergency Management has been in full swing, keeping volunteer fire departments supplied with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and additional emergency response training.

“We had a stockpile of gloves and R-95 masks, but those went quickly. We were able to get more from the Federal Strategic National Stockpile, but those also went quickly, so now we have more than 4,000 masks and 12 cases of gloves ordered,” County OEM Director Andy Traffanstedt said.

Once received, many of the masks and gloves will go to volunteer fire departments and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to providing supplies and training, the emergency management staff updates the governor’s office daily with news of cases or developments.  They are also in constant contact with the 911 call center and Arkansas Department of Health to collect information. This information is used to create situation reports which are given to the county judge to determine the best course of action moving forward.

Even as the county works through the pandemic, the Office of Emergency Management is on-call 24 hours per day for all matter of emergencies, including natural disasters.

“Disasters and emergencies still happen; the Office of Emergency Management doesn’t quarantine,” Traffanstedt said. “Like the tornadoes in Jonesboro on March 28, we were called out to assist, even during the pandemic.”