The Delta Regional Authority is investing $235,000 in infrastructure projects in southeast Arkansas and northeast Louisiana with the help of the Economic Development Administration. The projects will add 115 jobs in the two regions, according to the DRA.
The initiative focuses on a 90-mile transportation corridor that includes Ashley, Bradley, Chicot, Desha and Drew counties in Arkansas and East Carroll, Madison, West Carroll and Richland parishes in Louisiana.
Improvements are planned for U.S. 65 highway, which connects southeast Arkansas to Interstate 20, the Yellow Bend Port on the Arkansas River and the Port of Crossett on the Ouachita River, according to the DRA. In Arkansas, the investment will go toward enhancing Mississippi River port operations in Lake Providence and the Madison Parish Port.
“Infrastructure investments are critical to economic development. This is great news for southern Arkansas that will improve the connection between rural communities and businesses beyond the region to help create additional job opportunities and development,” Sen. John Boozman said in a DRA press release.
The DRA gained access to the infrastructure funding through the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which aims to encourage collaborative regional innovation, public/private partnerships, national strategic priorities, global competitiveness, environmentally sustainable development and underserved communities, according to DRA.
Projects were chosen in part with help from the Arkansas and Louisiana governors and the governors’ board designee to ensure the funding aligns with the state’s economic development goals, according to the press release.
“DRA’s continued investments in the Arkansas Delta are emblematic of their dedication to the region,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in the release. “This investment in the Arkansas-Louisiana Multimodal Economic Corridor will encourage economic development by improving transportation infrastructure in rural southeast Arkansas. I look forward to seeing the positive effects these improvements will have on the Arkansas Delta region.”