LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – 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.”