Through three rounds of funding, DOT’s TIGER program has rewarded communities that come together to solve problems by promoting innovative, multi-modal transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to metropolitan areas, regions, and the nation.
Yesterday, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez saw the community excitement for one of these projects firsthand when he helped break ground on a section of the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway.
The Razorback Greenway is a bicycle and pedestrian network that will link the cities of Bentonville, Rogers, Lowell, Springdale, Johnson, and Fayetteville. It will connect three major hospitals, 23 schools, Northwest Arkansas Community College, the University of Arkansas, and several corporate headquarters.
As Administrator Mendez said, “We put a lot of focus on moving people in a safe and efficient manner. And when you bring bicycle and pedestrian pathways to a community, it’s going to connect people to places."
This project has been a goal of regional planners and residents of Northwest Arkansas for more than two decades. But funding the innovative project was challenging. In 2010, the 16-mile section of the 36-mile, multi-use greenway competed successfully for support from our second round of TIGER.
Because the $15 million TIGER award was matched by the Walton Family Foundation, the greenway is also a terrific example of how communities can leverage TIGER funds into something even more powerful.
The Razorback Regional Greenway is an idea that came from Northwest Arkansas, a community that knows what it needs to thrive and provides the transportation choices its residents want. It is partially funded by a foundation headquartered in Northwest Arkansas. It will put Northwest Arkansans to work. It will provide good transportation options for residents. And it will attract more businesses to the region.
It's a perfect fit for DOT’s TIGER, a powerful program that continues to invest in innovative, problem-solving projects to create jobs, promote economic development, increase mobility, and improve safety in all 50 states.