September 28, 2011 Edition

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Work on rail-trail continues

A one-mile segment on the northern end of the Rails to Trails walking and biking trail, between Highway 67 North and Miller Road, was paved last week. After some bridge work is completed that section will be ready to open.
TD Photo ~ Gretchen Hunt

Gretchen Hunt

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department recently announced an additional $80,000 in funding to Lawrence County to continue the transformation of an abandoned rail spur into a walking and biking trail.

The ongoing project is currently in its fourth phase, with the new funding providing for the fifth of six phases.

Brett Cooper, a member of the local Rails-to-Trails Committee, said workers completed paving a little less than one mile on the north end of trail between Highway 67 North and Miller Road last week as part of the fourth phase of the project.

Committee member Junior Briner said some bridge work needs to be completed on that section, as well.

"We also recently opened a quarter mile of the trail behind the Northridge area as part of Phase III of the project," Briner said.

The most recently awarded funds will pay for paving the trail from where the third phase ended, near Old Walnut Ridge Road, to beyond County Road 430. The last phase will complete the stretch to Highway 67 North.

"We are so thankful to the Highway Department for its continued funding of this project," Briner said.

The first phase of the trail was funded by the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department, but the remainder of the funds have come from the AHTD.

The committee is also working with the Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club on maintenance and beautification of the trail. Briner said organizations that are interested in adopting a stretch of the trail can contact any board member.

Other members of the board are Lewis Slaughter, Lee Turnbull, Sue Whitmire and Sherry Moore.

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