The Clinton Presidential Center announced this morning that a grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration will give the city of Little Rock and the Clinton Foundation the funds needed to begin renovating the Rock Island Bridge. The $2.6 million grant ($600,000 of which will go to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for an incubator) brings an end to a much talked-about fundraising effort by the Clinton Foundation. A total of $10.5 million is needed to complete the project. The Foundation has raised roughly $5 million, the city of Little Rock pitched in for $1 million and stimulus funds make up another $2.5 million.
Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for the Clinton Foundation, said the announcement is great news for Central Arkansas. "It's a connector," Johnson says. "Not only is this going to be good for tourism, but it provides a link in the River Trail that connects many destinations including the Clinton Library, Heifer International, the ball park in North Little Rock, museums and hotels."
President Clinton announced in November that construction would begin this year and Johnson says this award puts the project on the right track. Once construction begins, it will take 18 months to complete. Read the full release here.