The Little Rock Port Authority announced Monday $11 million in investments to support transportation infrastructure improvements in the port’s footprint. As many as 1,500 new jobs may be added, according to a release from the port. The port is the largest industrial hub in central Arkansas with over 40 businesses employing more than 4,000 people. It features rail, river and interstate highway access.
The project will be made possible through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock and Pulaski County will lead to new construction to widen and improve Zeuber Road. The road handles heavy industrial materials and will be upgraded in anticipation of two new companies – CZ USA and HMS Manufacturing – set to locate at the port.
In addition to the Zeuber Road improvements, the Port of Little Rock also announced an additional $6 million in public infrastructure funds for additional road widening, intersection improvements and new road construction to accommodate increased transportation capacity needs associated with the new companies. Funding for these improvements was provided through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Delta Regional Authority, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock, and Pulaski County.
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that our infrastructure keep pace with the growing demands of industry in Arkansas,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “The Port of Little Rock is a prime area for business. Once completed, the Zeuber Road project will be an important asset for businesses that require easily navigable infrastructure to support workforce and trade.”
“The Delta Regional Authority’s investment at the Port of Little Rock is the exact project our dollars are meant for – supporting transportation infrastructure and industry-driven job creation,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “The DRA’s investment improves roadways for a major transportation and logistical hub in Arkansas, and it is a vital component in supporting Arkansas’s workforce and attracting new industry and jobs to the Delta region.”
“The Port is one of the county’s most important assets, which is why investing in the core infrastructure of the Port has been a focal point of Pulaski County Government and my administration,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “The long-anticipated development and improvements to Zeuber Road will support the growing number of vehicles needing to safely access the Port. Having the necessary infrastructure in place is why companies like Amazon, CZ USA and HMS Manufacturing are choosing to invest and locate their operations in Pulaski County. At a time when jobs are at a premium, I am confident that our investments will be a jobs creator as we attract evermore industries to Central Arkansas.”
“This is an example of new public infrastructure investments leading to new jobs for the residents of Little Rock,” said Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. “I am excited and grateful the Port of Little Rock will undergo these improvements, which will help our city recruit new companies as well as retain our current businesses.”