Grant Received to Begin Southwest Trail Construction

Rock Island Railroad old wood trestle.

Pulaski County received $880,000 in a grant from the Federal Lands Access Program to begin construction of the Southwest Trail.  With this grant Pulaski County is a step closer to seeing the Southwest Trail become a reality.

The county owns approximately 4.2 miles of the former Rock Island Railroad right-of-way heading from Hilaro Springs Road to the Pulaski/Saline County line–the future home of the Southwest Trail.

Underside of former Rock Island Railroad wood trestle.

One wood railroad trestle has fallen into disrepair and two former wood railroad trestles have been destroyed. The existing wood trestle has not had regular maintenance causing the wood pier supports, girders, and other wood components to rot and become structurally deficient. The wood trestle is surrounded by vegetation overgrowth that has reclaimed the bridge over the years, due to lack of maintenance.

Funding allows construction of three new bridge structures and will give pedestrians/bicyclists the opportunity to cross the streams on the Southwest Trail in Pulaski County. Construction begins as soon as the end of 2020.

Nearly all roads connecting Hot Springs and Little Rock do not have pedestrian/bicycle dedicated lanes. This portion of the Southwest Trail will offer an off road experience that most pedestrians and cyclists prefer. Cyclist especially, prefer more rural routes to limit accidents and protect themselves from injury.