City & County

ArDOT awards $819K to local trail projects

A $500,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation will create a multi-use path on the Caddo River bridge. | photo/Joel Phelps

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Department of Transportation has announced the award recipients for its Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP) for 2021.

The TAP provides funding for programs and projects defined as “transportation alternatives” for pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation. It was authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. It is a reimbursement-type grant program that provides for an 80 percent federal share and a 20 percent local match from eligible applicants.

Under the TAP program, eligible projects can include construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities that include sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure. Conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for pedestrian and bicycle trails is also eligible.

The RTP is funded through a portion of TAP funds set aside specifically for recreational trails. These funds are eligible for maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, and construction of new trails.

In accordance with Federal guidelines, the funding allocated for these programs cannot be utilized for highway construction.

For 2021, a total of 89 TAP applications ($27.6 million) were received and 47 projects were awarded for $10.3 million. A total of 48 RTP applications ($11 million) were received and 12 RTP projects were awarded for $1.2 million.

Among the recipients of the projects were the City of Arkadelphia, Clark County and Centerpoint School District.

Clark County received $500,000 for a multi-use path traversing the Caddo River Bridge linking Arkadelphia to Caddo Valley. Arkadelphia received $119,000 for a Safe Routes to School project. Centerpoint received $200,000 for phase 1 of a trail project.