WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Congressman Steve Womack (AR-03) announced that Fort Smith will receive a $8,527,893 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to repair and rehabilitate three rail bridges that cross Clear Creek and the Arkansas River.
One bridge spans the Arkansas River, and the project will rehabilitate many of its structural components, along with the electrical and mechanical systems controlling the lift span. The other two bridges cross Clear Creek, and the project will replace timber trestles approaching their spans, improving their safety and reliability.
“Upgrading our infrastructure is necessary to continuing and growing economic development in the region. This investment in Fort Smith will improve transportation routes to move Arkansas goods around the world,” Boozman said.
“Repairing these bridges will both protect the safety of all who use them and spur economic growth in the local community. This project is more than deserving of this assistance, and the people of Arkansas will put it to good use,” Cotton said.
“More than 50 Natural State businesses rely on these rail bridges for sending and receiving goods, and this funding will ensure that their products are able to move with greater efficiency, ultimately growing our local, regional, and national economy. I am confident it will have a positive impact on our communities,” Womack said.
The funding is awarded from the DOT’s TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program that invests in transportation projects that will have a significant economic impact.
“The highly competitive TIGER program recognizes projects that will have a significant impact on a region, metropolitan areas, or our country as a whole,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.