At the urging of the Faulkner County Historical Society, the City of Conway made plans to purchase the 142-year-old Springfield-Des Arc bridge from Faulkner County back in 2015, then move and restore the bridge over water at Beaverfork Park for pedestrian use.
Initially approved with a $300,000 Metroplan 80/20 grant, the project would cost Conway $60,000 for its portion of the project. However, the City was unaware of federal restrictions on that grant money requiring Conway to bid out the project, and the City had already signed a contract with Workin’ Bridges of Grinnell, Iowa to begin disassembling and moving the bridge.
Conway Mayor Tab Townsell proposed a funding switch and, once Metroplan accepted the offer Conway was able to move forward with the project. Townsell leaves office in December, 2016 to become the Director of Metroplan, which will allow Conway to switch the initial Metroplan grant funds of $240,000 (the 80% portion of the grant) to another project.
In October, the City Council approved $350,000 from Conway’s Advertising & Promotion fund to pay for the bridge restoration project; the bridge restoration work began almost immediately.