The Junction Bridge will open in its new incarnation as a pedestrian bridge for the Memorial Day weekend celebration Riverfest, the county announced last week. That's the good news.
But after Riverfest, it will shut down again, at least from the Little Rock side.
Truman Tolefree, Little Rock parks director, said the city will have to close off access to the bridge for between 4 and 6 (maybe 8) weeks the week after Riverfest so it can excavate the area around La Petite Roche, just east of the bridge. The city is making the famous rock more visible and will build paths connecting the rock to the new playground west of the bridge and to the Riverfront Park walking trail. A $500,000 grant is being sought to pay for most of the work and private contributions are being solicited. The quicker the money comes in the faster the work will be done, Tolefree said.
And an update on the city's announcement yesterday that it would hold a public hearing on a proposal to ban smoking in Little Rock's parks: The announcement was in error, Tolefree said. The committee considering the ban will meet as announced at noon April 1, but a public hearing hasn't been set. Committee meetings are, of course, public.