LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the city of Little Rock a $2 million planning grant to begin design work for a proposed deck park over Interstate 30.

The grant is part of the reconnecting Communities Pilot Program, which helps reconnect communities that were separated by construction of the interstate system.

Officials with the Little Rock Regional Chamber noted that I-30 through downtown Little Rock is one of those communities.

Local nonprofits and businesses joined forces to create the grant application, gathering support from organizations and community leaders representing the area.

City officials said that the Little Rock business community has worked behind the scenes on this project, pushing for the deck park to be built over the interstate between 6th and 9th Street.

Design for the proposed deck park between 6th and 9th Street

The USDOT will award construction grants annually over the next four years to the construction work, city officials said.

Officials explained that the planning grant should be used to help grant receivers apply for construction grant in the future.