In Little Rock, Arkansas, the Pulaski County Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge crosses the Arkansas River and is the centerpiece of the Big Dam Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Trail. At 4,226 feet, it's the longest pedestrian bridge in North America open only to pedestrian and bicycle traffic. We thought it worth a mention in our trail bridge blog series.
Before the Big Dam Bridge was built, Little Rock was in dire need of a pedestrian bridge crossing the Arkansas River. Pulaski County Judge F.G. “Buddy” Villines championed the idea of building the bridge across the pre-existing Murray Dam, saying, “We’re building that dam bridge!" After years of construction and a $12.8 million price tag, the bridge opened in September 2006, and the name stuck.
Today, the bridge continues to serve the Little Rock area, and the adjacent trail continues to grow. In September, the bridge will be part of the Big Dam Bridge 100, an event in which brave cyclists pedal between 10 and 100 miles throughout Central Arkansas. The bridge’s LED lights have earned praise from locals along with the Illuminating Engineer Society, who gave the bridge its Award of Merit. The Big Dam Bridge also received an Exemplary Human Environment Initiative award from the Federal Highway Administration.
This is indeed the biggest dam bridge in the United States.