The Arkansas Times obtained some preliminary engineering plans for the Rock Island Bridge which, according to former president Bill Clinton, will be renovated in 2010. Here, you can see high resolution images of the plans including the overall elevation of the entire bridge and the plans for what the north and south landings may look like. The plans were submitted, along with a permit application, to the United States Coast Guard. The drawings are dated August 31, 2009. There's nothing really earth-shattering here, just some early designs. You may notice however that the north end of the bridge terminates abruptly with no ramp, something that may pique the interest of bicycle enthusiasts, who see this bridge as the final link in a looped river trail extending to the Big Dam Bridge and back.
Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for the Clinton Foundation, says the plans are not final. He says the bridge will be a continuous ramp to allow for smooth passage of bicyclists, joggers, etc. There's still no word on where the final $3 million will come from.
Joe Smith, director of commerce and government affairs for the city of North Little Rock, says the city is still trying to figure out exactly what the north end of the bridge will look like.
"We have been in conversation with the foundation and we’re all in agreement with what we want," Smith says. "We definitely want it to be bicycle friendly, but we just haven’t been able to design it yet or figure out where the money’s coming from. It will have a ramp and it will be done according to what the input of all the various groups have indicated."