Arkansas embarks on a $280 million cycling infrastructure project


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Conway, Arkansas – A major development project valued at nearly $280 million is soon to be underway across several counties, introducing a bike trail that will span 200 miles, linking the counties of Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski, and Saline. This extensive initiative is known as The Central Arkansas Greenways Plan, as named by Metroplan.

Bobby Kelly III, a representative from the city of Conway, shared their concurrent plan to augment their own bicycle trail infrastructure, albeit at a more localized scale. Their initiative is titled Connect Conway. It has received financial support from the US Department of Transportation to the tune of $24.6 million.

Kelly observed, “It’s gonna be expanding at a pretty rapid rate, so 15 years from now you’re gonna come back and think, where did all of this kind of stuff come from? It’s gonna be a game changer, it’s gonna be fully transformational.”

Currently, Conway boasts two significant trails, Stone Dam Creek and Turtle Creek. However, these routes are not interlinked, nor do they connect to other cities. The synchronized implementation of their project with the Greenways Plan is timely and strategic, according to Kelly.

“This is special, whenever this is done it will be the backbone in all directions to really flush out a more intricate, a more connected network to get people from point a to point b,” Kelly expressed.

Speaking to a local news outlet, Kelly confirmed that the Greenways Plan will offer alternative travel options for cyclists or individuals without personal vehicles.

“Not having a vehicle or a working vehicle shouldn’t stop you from being able to get to a job interview, get to a medical appointment or any other kind of opportunities. This will allow that,” Kelly stated.

Long-time cyclist, Will Jenkins, shared his enthusiasm for the project, advocating for more cycling-friendly areas within the city. He suggested that, “A dedicated multi-used path is gonna make a lot more people feel more comfortable getting on a bike.”

Jenkins anticipates that the Greenways project will stimulate interest in cycling, especially if it ensures safety.

“There’s probably a large group of people who would like to get into and they just wanna make sure that they’re taking care of themselves and their families, especially if they wanna bring their kids with them,” Jenkins noted.

Echoing the anticipation for the project, Eric Lemon, co-owner of The Ride, is of the opinion that the 200-mile trail will foster business opportunities beyond the state’s boundaries.

“It puts our area on the map kinda on the map for folks that wanna travel from not just around the US but really kind of around the world,” Lemon said. “They wanna travel to a destination when they can get on their bike and they can go see different communities.”

Kelly revealed that construction for Connect Conway is set to commence in 2027. More information about The Central Arkansas Greenways Plan is available here.


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