Vision Coming to Life: Counties Awarded Federal Grant to Design Southwest Trail

We are pleased to announce that Pulaski, Saline and Garland counties have been awarded a Federal Lands Access Program (FLAP) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. According to the DOT website, the grant program “supplements state and local resources for public roads, transit systems, and other transportation facilities, with an emphasis on high-use recreation sites and economic generators.”

Since 2014, the counties have been working in collaboration to obtain funding to design the Southwest Trail. In 2017, the county judges made the decision to share the cost and to move toward achieving a comprehensive design through collaboration, instead of each county pursuing a piecemeal design.

“We agreed that a seamless design was needed in order to complete the project in a cost-effective and timely manner,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. We want to see the trail designed as a whole; the grant will allow this to happen.”

The trail will extend from Little Rock Central High to Hot Springs National Park. As required by the grant, the project will extend from one federal site to another. The expected design cost is approximately $3.2 million; the counties will split costs after the grant is applied.

“This is a significant investment in our region’s future in terms of job creation and tourism,” said Hyde. “I’m proud of our partners Saline County Judge Jeff Arey and Garland County Judge Rick Davis and especially proud of Pulaski County Public Works Department Director, Barbara Richard who has taken the lead in making this vision come to life.”