Community Projects

Community Projects

Fiscal Year 2025

Port Osceola Harbor Expansion

Recipient: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Memphis District)

Location: 167 North Main Street, Room B-202, Memphis, TN 38013

Amount of Request: $3,000,000

Details: The Memphis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be able to use this funding to expand the inland waterway port at Osceola Harbor by 3,000 feet, from its current length of 6,500 feet to 9,500 feet.

Justification: Osceola Harbor is a vital hub for the regional economy, and in recent years, there has been a significant increase in barge traffic, primarily due to the burgeoning steel industry in the region. This growth, while beneficial for the local economy, has put a strain on the current harbor infrastructure. The explosive growth of the Osceola area, and that of greater Mississippi County, Arkansas, has led to major back-ups at the harbor as barge traffic is overwhelming the available mooring locations. With additional industrial operations set to open at the harbor, the need for a longer harbor is critical.

Financial Certification 

MKARNS Operation and Maintenance

Recipient: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District

Location: 700 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203

Amount of Request: $10.65 million

Details: The Little Rock District of the USACE will be able to use this funding to eliminate some of the critical maintenance backlog that exists on the McKellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System (MKARNS). Specifically, the request would provide funding for the following work packages:

  • Procure PLC Allen Bradley Encoders, HMI, and Red Lion Spare Parts – Work Plan 1079138 ($1.6 million)
  • Design and Construct Tow Haulage Upgrade at Toad Suck Lock and Dam – Work Plan 1079135 ($2.5 million)
  • Repair and Construct Mooring Piles at MKARNS Pool #3 (1 of 2) – Work Plan 1079137 ($750,000)
  • Arthur V. Ormand Tainer Gate Repair – Work Plan 1079142 ($4 million)
  • Lock Dewater at Lock 1 – Work Plan 1077743 ($1.8 million)

Justification: The MKARNS is a 50-year-old navigation project that has a significant amount of critical maintenance that has been ignored for too long. A failure in the system could cause a loss of navigation on the entire MKARNS, which would put over 6,000 jobs in jeopardy and cause a national GDP decline of nearly $725 million.

Financial Certification 

Future Interstate 57 (Walnut Ridge to Missouri State line)

Recipient: Arkansas Department of Transportation

Location: 10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, Arkansas 72209

Amount of Request: $80,000,000

Details: The Arkansas Department of Transportation will be able to use this funding to complete construction of the remaining sections of Interstate 57 in Arkansas from Walnut Ridge to the Missouri state line. The project is detailed on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as Job 100512.

Justification: The addition of a four-lane highway in Arkansas that will seamlessly connect Little Rock, Arkansas, to Chicago, Illinois, will full Interstate designation throughout will attract businesses and other commercial interests to the region. It will also provide a direct link for freight and consumer movement through the south-central U.S. to the Midwest. By completing the 42-mile Arkansas section, historically disadvantaged communities in northeast Arkansas will receive economic benefits that could not otherwise be achieved.

Financial Certification 

U.S. Highway 412 Improvements

Recipient: Arkansas Department of Transportation

Location: 10324 Interstate 30, Little Rock, Arkansas 72209

Amount of Request: $9,000,000

Details: The Arkansas Department of Transportation will be able to use this funding to improve U.S. Highway 412 in Boone and Lawrence counties. Specifically, the money will go toward completing the following projects outlined on the Arkansas Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) plan: Job 090578 and Job 100981. Those projects will provide widening and intersection improvements between Industrial Park Road and Highway 7 in Harrison, Arkansas, and widening improvements from Highway 117 to Highway 25 in Black Rock, Arkansas. project.

Justification: U.S. Highway 412 is a nationally significant East/West corridor that goes from northeast New Mexico in the west and travels 1,130 miles to Columbia, Tennessee in the east. Congress designated U.S. Highway 412 from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Nashville, Tennessee, as Highway Priority Corridor 8. This corridor is part of the Arkansas Highway Commission’s Four-Lane Grid System, as well, which signifies its importance to the state.

Financial Certification 

Craighead Technology Park Infrastructure

Recipient: City Water and Light of Jonesboro

Location: 400 East Monroe Avenue, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401

Amount of Request: $1,000,000

Details: This funding will be used by City Water and Light of Jonesboro to drill new water wells and install a new 30-inch water line on the property known as the Craighead Technology Park (CTP).

Justification: The construction of additional water delivery infrastructure will aid in the development and improvement of the CTP as a regional economic hub. The Jonesboro Economic Development Corporation has invested $4 million into the CTP project, and that investment, coupled with the investments made by City Water and Light will provide economic growth and other benefits for the city, Craighead County, and the larger northeast Arkansas area, of which Jonesboro is the major hub.

Financial Certification 

Mississippi County – North End Clean-Up/Eaker AFB

Recipient: Mississippi County

Location: 200 West Walnut, Blytheville, AR 72315

Amount of Request: $3,200,000

Details: This funding will be used by the Mississippi County government to remediate toxic chemicals, including PFOA and lead paint, in the dilapidated buildings still standing on a roughly 100-acre site on the former Eaker Air Force Base (AFB). This is another phase in a larger redevelopment plan for the site that will eventually provide the area with affordable, stable, new housing.

Justification: Eaker AFB underwent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) in 1992. The federal government has not provided adequate support to the community to clean-up the base since its abandonment. The site is adjacent to the National Cold War Center and the Aeroplex, and the county is in need of affordable, new housing for the growing steel manufacturing industry. Mississippi County is the largest steel producing county in America, but continued economic growth is dependent upon new housing stock for workers and their families. Continued growth of the steel industry in the U.S. has a significant economic impact on the entire nation.

Financial Certification 

Commercial Driver Training Truck Pad Expansion

Recipient: Arkansas State University, Mid-South

Location: 2000 West Broadway, West Memphis, Arkansas 72301

Amount of Request: $300,000

Details: The funding will be use by Arkansas State University, Mid-South to expand the physical footprint of the school’s Commercial Driver Training Program. The training program facility will grow from a 32,000 square foot truck pad to a 45,000 square foot truck pad.

Justification: This project will allow ASU Mid-South to offer enrollment to the more than 100 students who are currently on the school’s waiting list for this program due to limited space for instruction.  Nationally, the U.S. has an estimated shortage of nearly 80,000 truck drivers, and our workforce needs are only going to grow. Over the next decade, it’s estimated that we will need to recruit and train 1.2 million new drivers to meet the growing demands of truck-based freight movement coupled with the pending retirements of current drivers. With its advantageous location, close to multiple logistics hubs which all require a well-educated, commercial driver workforce, Arkansas State University, Mid-South is in a unique position to help lessen America’s truck driver shortage.

Financial Certification 

Previous years can be found below: