May 20, 2009 Edition

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Rail-trail project moving ahead

The next phase of paving will begin this summer on the rail-trail, which runs through Hoxie and Walnut Ridge. The trail's board of directors approved a contract this month to pave the section from Midway Road to Main Street in Walnut Ridge.

Precision Grading and Excavation of Jonesboro submitted the low bid $52,198 to pave the section of trail and was awarded the contract, according to Lewis Slaughter, board chairman.

The board has $76,000 available for the project, thanks to a grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. Since available funds surpass the bid amount, Slaughter said the extra amount will likely be applied to needed dirt work and to extending the paving northward, beyond Main Street.

Stuck and Associates architects of Jonesboro designed the specifications and handled the bidding process.

Slaughter also announced that the trail has received another $76,000 grant from the highway department, meaning another section will be paved in coming months, as well.

The trail is 6.7 miles long and extends from the BNSF rail in Hoxie to near College City. The portion of trail through Hoxie was paved last year, and the board is paving the trail in sections as funds become available.

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