Little Rock, Ark. (Nov. 23, 2010) -- To celebrate the sixth anniversary of its grand opening, The William J. Clinton Foundation hosted an event to unveil plans and renderings of the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, currently under renovation. Free and open to the public, a panel of experts - including the engineers, contractors and architects who are overseeing the project - discussed the construction and renovation process.
During the fifth anniversary "Thank You, Arkansas" luncheon hosted by the Clinton Foundation in 2009, President Clinton announced that the remaining funds necessary to begin the project would be secured and that construction would begin in 2010.
More than 120 people attended today's event to learn more about the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, formerly the Rock Island Railroad Bridge. Owned by the City of Little Rock, the Bridge will be a ramped pedestrian pathway that will complement President Clinton's vision for his Presidential Center and bring a unique economic development opportunity for Central Arkansas. The bridge will close the loop to the 15-mile Arkansas River Trail, which runs along both the north and south banks of the Arkansas River.
The luncheon panelists included Dan Beranek, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.; Wali Caradine, Caradine Companies Architecture; Jon Honeywell, City of Little Rock Public Works; Ken Jones, KJ&A Engineering; Ronny Mobley, Mobley Contractors, Inc.; Debbie Shock, Clinton Foundation; and Joe Stanley, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects.
"The bridge is a strong physical and symbolic element of this site, and one of the first decisions that was made about the future site of the Clinton Center was that the bridge would be retained in some form or fashion," said Joe Stanley, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects. "We've been through a lot of assessments and options, but we are all very pleased with the structure, functionality and aesthetics of the bridge. "
Photos along with original and final renderings were presented during the presentation. The bridge's "rusty" structure will be complemented by a well-lit 12-18-foot walkway flanked on both sides by silver galvanized steel handrails. "The contrast is intentional. It's the past and the present, the old and the new," said Dan Beranek, McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc.
The bridge will follow a graded slope that will allow for an uninterrupted crossing experience and will be ADA compliant.
"The bridge is going to be a great addition and it really fulfills President Clinton's vision for the Center and the Park," said Debbie Shock of the Clinton Foundation. "This is just one more way that President Clinton wanted central Arkansas to have something different and special from the rest of
The contract period for the project began on Nov. 1, 2010, and will run through July 31, 2011.
Other renovations and improvements to the Clinton Center Park include the Bill Clark Wetlands project which will be completed in the spring which will provide urban fishing opportunities and a restored wetland habitat to the community.
Members of the community have two opportunities to become a part of this historic project. For a contribution of $100 to the William J. Clinton Foundation, individual's names will be permanently engraved on the concrete pathway spanning the Arkansas River. The gift is 100 percent tax deductible. Additionally, just in time for the holidays, the Clinton Museum Store has Presidential Park Bridge ornaments at $17.95 each.