'Dam Bridge' to open Sept. 30 | Arkansas Blog

'Dam Bridge' to open Sept. 30

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They're calling it the "Big Dam Bridge," and it will officially open on Sept. 30, Pulaski County officials announced today.

It's the pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Arkansas River at Murray Lock and Dam in Little Rock, and it's being billed as the world's longest bridge "built and designed for that purpose." It will even have its own website by late July.

"We are planning a fun weekend for the grand opening," said Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, who conceived the bridge and secured the funds for its construction.

The weekend will include Big Dam Bridge Party Lighting Ceremony on Sept. 28, a "Big Dam Bridge Party," the Big Dam Bridge 5K and Fun Run on Sept. 30 and the Big Dam Bridge 100 on Oct. 1. Tickets will be available for purchase later next month.

Comprising 3,463 linear feet of bridge elevated 65 feet above the navigation channel, and 653 feet of walled embankments, the bridge over Murray Lock and Dam will be the second longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the world. It will be the longest bridge specifically constructed as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in the world, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The bridge will have a 14-foot wide deck, capable of handling pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  It will be constructed with weathering steel girders to minimize the requirements for future maintenance.

The bridge unites about 17 miles of scenic riverside trails in the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, and may in the future connect with 7,000 acres of various city, county, state and federal park land.

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