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Mayor wants to complete LR river trail project

Are you ready to bike throughout Arkansas? The regional planning group Metroplan gave tentative approval for a statewide river trail system today. But a key part of that trail in Little Rock isn't done and the mayor wants to change that.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Are you ready to bike throughout Arkansas? The regional planning group Metroplan gave tentative approval for a statewide river trail system today. But a key part of that trail in Little Rock isn't done and the mayor wants to change that.

The existing Arkansas River Trail is already wildly popular with runners and bikers in central Arkansas. But it's not done.

"This is a great amenity of our community. It is unique, it is singular," mayor Mark Stodola says.

That's why Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola is asking the feds for $15 million in grant money to help complete the River Bluffs portion.

As it stands now riders are forced onto a narrow stretch of sidewalk along the busiest part of Cantrell near Episcopal Collegiate School heading into downtown.

With limited space there is another option. Metroplan has produced an animated graphic rendering revealing what the rerouted trail would look like.

The first part of the trail provides views over the Union Pacific railroad.

The main bridge and key part of the project would run behind Dillards corporate headquarters. A bridge would be built from the river below and the trail would appear suspended over the Arkansas River itself.

Stodola says getting the federal grant will help make it happen.

"We've got our fingers crossed,” Stodola says. “If we get it, we'll be moving forward. If we don't we've got a plan "B", and I've even got a few plan "C’s and D's too."

And it will ultimately provide a safer route for bikers.

And this isn't just a new route to go biking. Stodola wants it to be a route for people's commute who would rather ride their bike to work.

The River Bluffs project is a proposed 4,500 feet of trail. Forty million dollars has already been invested in the existing river trail which includes The Two Rivers Bridge and the Big Dam Bridge.
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