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Wheel deal: The Southwest Trail

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Here's an idea that practically everyone is on board with: Creating a bike trail from Little Rock to Hot Springs over old Rock Island Railroad right of way.

Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines, Saline County Judge Lanny Fite, Garland County Judge Rick Davis, and mayors of the towns along the River Market-to-Gulpha Creek trail and others announced the project, on a route they've dubbed the Southwest Trail and estimate will cost between $17 million and $25 million to create, last week. Planning got into high gear last year when a group from Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas approached Villines about the idea. Villines estimates the trail will take between five and 10 years to build.

BACA vice president Mason Ellis created an interactive map (arktimes.com/southwesttrail) to illustrate the trail, which will roughly parallel, until it veers west toward Hot Springs, the historic Southwest Trail that was once the route to Texas.

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