Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.6 million grant to the city of Harrison, Arkansas, to limit the impact of future flood events on local manufacturing facilities by widening Goblin Drive. According to grantee estimates, the project is expected to create 150 jobs, retain 54 jobs and spur $7 million in private investment.
“When heavy rain and flooding struck Northern Arkansas in 2017, the Trump Administration stood ready to help the affected communities recover,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The roadway improvements being implemented in Harrison will increase disaster resiliency and help ensure that the manufacturing facilities in the area remain open during severe weather events in the future.”
“I have no higher priority than ensuring the safety of Arkansas citizens,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “This investment from the Economic Development Administration is an important step to ensure the protection of lives and property in the event of future flooding in Harrison.”
“This investment in Harrison will improve the transportation infrastructure that local manufacturers rely on and reduce the effects of flooding on their ability to do business,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman. “These updates will put Harrison manufacturers in a better position for the future.”
“Modernizing infrastructure on Goblin Road will support the future growth and success of the city of Harrison,” said Congressman Womack. “This project will create jobs, boost business competitiveness, improve traffic flow, and make the area more resilient to future storms. Smart investments like this provide long-term benefits for families and businesses, helping to create a stronger community for years to come. I commend the EDA and local stakeholders for their collective work and advocacy to make this funding a reality.”
This project will include the widening of Goblin Drive within the existing 80-ft right of way from the existing two lanes to three lanes, as well as replacement of the bridge and intersection improvements at the north end. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District (NWAEDD). EDA funds NWAEDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (PL 115-123) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.