LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Hopefully soon you won’t have to jump in your car to travel across central Arkansas.
Metroplan in Little Rock announced Wednesday plans to expand transportation to four different counties in Arkansas through a multi-path greenway.
Wheels of bicycles zoom across the pavement, and the sound of birds chirping fills the air as people stroll along the Arkansas River Trail, but soon, not only will people be able to enjoy trails in Little Rock, but 4 different counties across central Arkansas, through a greenway.
“We have a nice system already in Central Arkansas with the Arkansas River Trail and trails in Conway and then Maumelle. What we don’t have is a lot of trails that connect with each other,” Metroplan Executive Director Casey Covington said.
“I think it’s way past due, we need it, it’s something you find in other communities,” runner Annette Blanton said.
Metroplan announced Wednesday their 220-mile greenway that will connect people in Faulkner, Pulaski, Lonoke and Saline County.
“To just have access to other cities, other counties is so important,” Blanton said.
Blanton has been running for about 17 years, and she said it will expand opportunities to explore Arkansas, and even impact businesses in a positive way.
“It’s just going to bring more people here, the more people that come and spend their money, then the better for the economy but honestly I just think it is such a way to welcome people to our state,” Blanton said.
Metroplan said they considered 8 things when creating this greenway, some of those things being a safe way to travel, inclusive for all ages and well-connected to major destinations.
“It will be all of those parts and we are going to see success in the short-term and that’s just going to lead to greater success in the future,” Covington said.
As people enjoy getting out in the sunshine, Annette Blanton said it will bring a whole new experience to those who will enjoy it.
“To let people, to introduce them in a whole new way, see it through new eyes,” Blanton said.
Casey Covington with Metroplan said part of the greenway is already underway and they will be breaking ground on new routes later this year.
Officials said it is a multi-year plan and will take some time before it is completely finished.