Officials break ground on project to add amenities near Big Dam Bridge
Construction to make improvements to a park along the Arkansas River is to begin next week.
North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick, Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde and other officials broke ground on the project Wednesday morning on the north side of the Big Dam Bridge.
Hyde says the new facility, which will be known as the Big Dam Bridge North Plaza, aims to increase safety as well as offer new amenities to visitors.
“The Big Dam Bridge North Plaza is another example showing the importance of us all working together to better serve our communities. When completed, the North Plaza will provide a space for visitors to congregate away from bike traffic, making it a safer place and a safer entry point on the trail,” Hyde said.
The plaza will also feature a bicycle repair station, new benches and a drinking fountain with a water bottle filler. The project is a joint partnership between the city and the county with support from the Big Dam Bridge Foundation. The cost is expected to be about $400,000.
Hyde says crews will begin construction following a popular cycling event this weekend.
“We always wanted to make sure that we didn’t interrupt the Big Dam Bridge 100 bicycle ride that’s occurring this Saturday, with, I’m assuming, the standard 3,500 cyclists or more,” Hyde said. “Monday morning, RedStone Construction, the successful bidder on this project, will begin the work actively.”
The new plaza will separate pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the north side of the Big Dam Bridge, which stretches across the Arkansas River from Little Rock to North Little Rock. The project also involves construction a new pavilion to replace one that was damaged by record flooding of the river in 2019.
Construction on the project is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2023.