Little Rock, AR (Little Rock Junction Bridge)

View printer friendly version

Little Rock Junction Bridge

Little Rock, Arkansas

(November 1996)


The Central Arkansas Transit Authority (CATA) proposes to implement a one-mile-long connection on existing freight track from two points in downtown Little Rock to an 18,000 seat arena under construction in North Little Rock. An existing lift-span bridge over the navigable Arkansas River will be utilized. Passenger sidings will be constructed at the Statehouse Convention Center (currently being doubled in size); at the New River Market complex, which opened last summer; and at the Arena. The Union Pacific freight track will be upgraded to passenger standards, and safety signalization will also be upgraded. A 1987 planning study addressed the costs of upgrading the rail track to passenger standards, and cost estimates and passenger forecasts were made. A bus/rail transfer station will be added to the Arena, and special shuttle buses may be purchased. The project will probably utilize independently powered streetcars, using a diesel motor to run an on-board generator. This will avoid capital costs for an overhead power supply, construction of which would be difficult with the lift-span bridge. The total project is estimated to cost $7 million to $9 million.


A grant application is being prepared for the initial $2.0 million in Federal funds. A Request for Proposals is ready for release. The limited scope of the project does not warrant an MIS, due to the short length of the project; no involvement with new right-of-way; low capacity; and low cost. CATA is proposing to undertake a feasibility study for the small, $7 million to $9 million fixed guideway facility. A bus/rail transfer station will be added to the Arena and may include the use of special shuttle buses. The completion of the project is set for late 1999 to coincide with the Arena's opening.

Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $1.99 million in Section 5309 New Start funds for the project.