Fayetteville receives state grant for trail tunnel under Highway 112

Clabber Creek Trail near Truckers Drive / Staff photo

The Arkansas Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced recipients for its Transportation Alternatives Program and Recreational Trails Program for 2021.

The Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) provides grants for a variety of projects related to pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-motorized forms of transportation.

The TAP program was authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, and is a reimbursement-type grant program that provides for an 80% federal share and a 20% local match from eligible applicants.

Eligible projects can include construction of on-road and off-road trail facilities that include sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, lighting and other safety related infrastructure. Conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for pedestrian and bicycle trails is also eligible.

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides money specifically for recreational trail projects.

RTP funds are eligible for maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, and construction of new trails.

This year, a total of 89 TAP applications were received and 47 projects were awarded a total of $10.3 million. There were 48 RTP applications, of which 12 projects were awarded a total of $1.2 million.

Several regional projects were selected for grants in 2021 from both programs.

Fayetteville’s award

Fayetteville received $500,000 in TAP funds to put towards the cost of a tunnel under Highway 112 where the state plans to rework the intersection at Van Asche Drive.

The state’s plans include a two-lane roundabout, so city planners opted for a tunnel for users of a future Clabber Creek Trail extension along Highway 112.

The project will add another construction phase to the recently extended trail which will follow the west side of Highway 112 and then go under the highway to link up to the existing bike path and sidewalks along Van Asche Drive.

The city has now received a total of nearly $1 million in grant money for the upcoming Clabber Creek Trail project along Highway 112, including about $480,000 from the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission’s own transportation alternatives funding program.

Fayetteville also received $75,000 in RTP funds from the state this year for planned enhancements to the recreational trails on Mount Kessler.

» See the full list of TAP grant recipients

» See the full list of RTP grant recipients

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Highway 112 is set to include a “four-lane roundabout,” but it’s actually a four-lane road with two-lane roundabout. That change is reflected above.