The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $20,482,208 to the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism to construct the final 13.4-mile section of the southeast Arkansas trail through its Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Discretionary Grant Program.
The announcement was made Wednesday (Nov. 17) by Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas’ two U.S. Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Reps. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, and Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs.
“This grant will achieve a goal 30-years in the making,” Hutchinson said. “The completion of the Delta Heritage Trail will provide bikers and hikers yet another beautiful view of the Natural State and will highlight the beauty of the Delta. I appreciate the advocacy of our federal delegation in winning this grant. This is another great project to enhance tourism in southeast Arkansas.”
The grant is expected to create more travel and tourism traffic through the Delta and, in turn, develop more jobs and small businesses.
“At a time when outdoor recreational opportunities are more vital than ever, this grant will enable Arkansas State Parks to complete the construction of the entire 87-mile length of Delta Heritage Trail State Park by 2025,” said Secretary of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism Stacy Hurst.
“This grant will enable State Parks to leverage the previous commitment from the Walton Family Foundation to generate new recreational and tourism opportunities from Lexa to Arkansas City, making a significant impact on the economy, quality of life and well-being of the Arkansas Delta,” she added.
In July, members of the Congressional delegation advocated for RAISE grant funding for the project in a letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.