Northwest Arkansas transportation alternatives, trails projects get boost from state

Jim and Lydia Hawkins, both of Fayetteville, walk on the trail at Creekside Park in Farmington in July 2019. Farmington was awarded $400,000 by the Arkansas Department of Transportation for work on the city's Creekside Park Trail. (File Photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Department of Transportation has announced award recipients for its Transportation Alternatives Program and Recreational Trails Program for 2022, including several in Benton and Washington counties.

The Transportation Alternatives Program was reauthorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and provides money for programs and projects defined as "transportation alternatives" for pedestrians, bicyclists and other nonmotorized forms of transportation.

It's a reimbursement-type grant program, which provides for an 80% federal share and a 20% local match from eligible applicants.

Under the Transportation Alternatives Program, eligible projects 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 Recreational Trails Program is for maintenance and restoration of trails, development and renovation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages and construction of new trails.

For 2022, 56 Transportation Alternatives projects were awarded about $15 million, and 12 Recreational Trails projects were awarded about $2 million.

Recipients of the Transportation Alternatives Program money this year are:

• Cave Springs, $348,000 for sidewalks on West Wallis Road and Sands Road.

• Decatur, $200,000 for a sidewalk from Rooster Street to Hill Avenue.

• Lowell, $500,000 for sidewalks on Concord Street and Honeysuckle Street.

• The Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority, $500,000 for Heritage Springs Trail, which is a side path along Arkansas 112.

• Pea Ridge, $183,000 to extend a sidewalk on McCulloch Street.

• Siloam Springs, $184,000 for a side path along Progress Avenue.

• Farmington, $400,000 for Creekside Park Trail.

• Goshen, $252,000 for Mill Branch Park Trail

The following local projects received Recreational Trails Program money:

• The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, $500,000 for an Illinois River boat access.

• Fayetteville, $100,000 for an accessible nature trail at Lake Fayetteville.