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Morrilton city officials are considering building a "Little Dam Bridge" that would cross the Arkansas River and connect Petit Jean State Park to Morrilton, the mayor said.

The University of Central Arkansas in Conway is conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the cost of the project, the results of which will be released Wednesday, Morrilton Mayor Allen Lipsmeyer said.

Lipsmeyer said the city commissioned the study four to five months ago. He thinks it will be very expensive to build the trail and path to cross over the existing Ormond Dam, but he did not have an estimation on the project's cost or start date.

The mayor is unsure where Morrilton would obtain money for the project. Officials will decide whether to fund the "Little Dam Bridge" after they receive the study's results.

"If we see that we need to and it's a worthy project, we will try to help if we can," Lipsmeyer said.

He noted that the city will likely pursue grants and donations. Officials are also considering completing the trail in phases, Lipsmeyer said.

But if the city does build the "Little Dam Bridge," he thinks it would greatly increase tourism in his area.

"If it all works out, it'll be a huge economic impact on this area," he said.

Pulaski County officials, working with the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, opened a similar bridge in 2006. The Big Dam Bridge in Pulaski County is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects Little Rock and North Little Rock across the Arkansas River on the west sides of both cities.

It stands up to 90 feet above the Arkansas River and connects to more than 14 miles of riverside trails in Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Officials have said the Big Dam Bridge -- which has a 4,226-foot span built atop Murray Lock and Dam -- is the longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge in North America.

NW News on 12/16/2018

Print Headline: 'Little Dam Bridge' idea under study

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