Tag Archives: Faulkner County Historical Society

Society Plans Springfield-Des Arc Bridge Signage

Once the Springfield-Des Arc bridge is restored at Lake Beaverfork in Conway, the Society is ensuring that visitors understand the historical significance of one of the oldest bowstring iron truss bridges in the U.S.

FCHS has obtained a $1,958 grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and a $407 grant from the Conway Community Foundation to construct signs with more information about the bridge. The signs will be a photographic print on aluminum, which allows for full-color images and text.

One sign will contain the history of the bridge, while the other sign will describe the process of preservation and relocation. A QR code will send visitors to the Springfield-Des Arc Bridge page on our FCHS website for more information.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Conway Resolves Springfield-Des Arc Bridge Funding Problems

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.