LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas cities of Bryant and Russellville are receiving more than $48 million in grants from a Biden administration infrastructure program.
The money is provided through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE, Discretionary Grant program. Total funds for the two cities are $48,752,759 from the Department of Transportation program.
According to the DOT, RAISE is designed to fund multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional programs that are difficult to fund through traditional DOT means. Congress funded the program at $12.1 billion for 14 rounds of infrastructure grants.
Bryant is receiving $25 million to reconstruct roughly 3.6 miles of Arkansas Highway 5 / Old Stagecoach Road. The construction will add continuous sidewalks, a shared-use path, improved storm drainage and utility work.
The DOT grant announcement said Bryant’s selection for funding was due to the area being a historically disadvantaged community. By supporting active transportation options, the improvements are expected to improve public health while lowering the crash rate to below the statewide average.
Bryant Mayor Allen Scott was thrilled about his city receiving the grant by working with the Arkansas Department of Transportation.
“The city of Bryant partnered with ARDOT who was the lead agency for the grant application,” he said. “We are thrilled and honored to be a part of this project. The project will change commuting along that corridor for the better. We look forward to the start and eventual completion of this project.”
Russellville is receiving $23,752,759 for its connected trail system project. When completed it will add 13 miles of multi-use trails and foot side paths for a city-wide trail system.
Like Bryant, the Russellville grant was for a historically disadvantaged community according to the DOT, but in this case in an area of persistent poverty. The project will build a separated bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and use underpasses and flashing beacons to improve safety.
The project has the additional advantage of reducing vehicle dependence while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the grant announcement stated.
DOT representatives said Wednesday that $2.2 billion was allocated in this round for 162 projects in all 50 states against $15 billion in requests received. Approved projects were generally in the $20 million to $25 million range and may be seen on the Transportation.gov website.