Includes personal reflections by KUAR's Michael Hibblen.
Work is finally getting underway to renovate the 111-year-old Rock Island Bridge adjacent to the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Former President Bill Clinton is to lead a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the bridge, which at one time was slated to be torn down.
The pledge to renovate the railroad bridge was made nine years ago, but beginning the work was repeatedly delayed, prompting some to wonder if it ever would happen. Now, after securing funding from numerous sources, the $10.5 million project is finally ready to get underway.
“We are standing at the foot on the south side of the Rock Island Bridge, now known as the Clinton Park Bridge. It was renamed last week by Little Rock City Board of Directors," said Clinton Foundation spokesman Jordan Johnson.
It will serve as the eastern end of the 14 mile river trial.
“This will be a ramped pedestrian bridge, completely ADA compliant," said Jordan. "We're looking at the trusses here and there will be, in essence, a bridge built inside the existing structure. So we're going to preserve the existing structure, but also build a footpath through it that will level off at the lift span and then gradually go back down to the North Little Rock side."