Greenwood is routinely ranked as one of the safest cities in the state of Arkansas. However, one area where the city could improve upon safety is with sidewalks along West Center Street. At all times of the day and night pedestrians walk along the busy road perilously close traffic. The issues was debated during the recent election and identified as one of the city’s weaknesses during a meeting with the University of Little Rock Arkansas Economic Development institute.
This week Mayor, Doug Kinslow, has announced that the city has been approved for a grant in the amount of $394,472, which would fund a sidewalk from West Denver Street to the Golden Years Retirement Center on the north side of the road and a partial sidewalk on the south side. The city has plan for a sidewalk from Main Street to Hwy. 71 that is broken up into three phases: West Denver to Golden Years is phase one, Main to West Denver is phase two and Golden years to Liberty Drive is phase three.
The mayor is hopeful that once the first phase is completed that they city may qualify for further funding to complete all three phases.
The grant is through the Arkansas Department of Transportation as a TAP, Transportation Alternatives Program, and was applied for last year by former street department director, Simon Wiley.
Currently the city has a little over $92,000 in its sidewalk fund that could potentially be used if the grant requires matching funds. The letter from the state of Arkansas states that the project is recommended for full funding and makes no mention of a match.
Kinslow stated that he believes that the approval of this project speaks well of the city’s future plans for a bypass for traffic relief through ARDOT as opposed to widening the existing road through town.
“If everyone knows that money is being given to the city to put sidewalks in a right of way and they still have the thought of coming through and putting four lanes in that would be ridiculous,” said Kinslow. “I would like to believe that this says we are going to help you with this because it is going to be your road one of these days. Only time will tell.”
Kinslow is scheduled to meet with ARDOT in January to receive more details about the project and the funding.