The city of Jonesboro has received a grant for almost $500,000 in Transportation Alternatives Program funding from the Arkansas Department of Transportation for a pedestrian/bicycle path between downtown and Arkansas State University.
The grant, totaling $449,770, includes a $99,954 local match. It will address Jonesboro’s ongoing desire to connect its downtown and university with a safe, accessible pathway for residents and ASU students.
“This is a component of our master bicycle and walking trail that is currently under development,” Mayor Harold Perrin said. “Now we’re working with the university to make it a team effort.”
The city applied for the grant after a survey determined that 47% of Jonesboro residents identified the trail as the city’s top priority for ArDOT funding. The route of the trail has not been determined. Perrin said the city is working with ASU to determine the best route for the walking/bicycle path to take. When construction will begin on the project has not been determined.
“The funding will enhance our quality of place, and I look forward to visiting with residents about their thoughts,” Jonesboro Director of Community Development Tiffny Calloway said.
The city has attempted to acquire funding for a trail connecting northern Jonesboro with the university campus. Pedestrian traffic along the route will spur tourism, and other economic activities. It could transform this section of the city similar to the economic growth experienced along U.S. 49 after NEA Baptist built its hospital along the route. Developers flocked to the area, and it’s become one of the economic diverse sections of the city.