Created by Act 898 of the 90th General Assembly, the purpose of the Unpaved Roads Program (Program) is to create a better unpaved county road system with a reduced negative environmental impact on priority water resources in Arkansas. The Program focuses on best management practices (BMPs) that reduce the impact of sediment and road runoff to streams, rivers, and drinking water supplies while reducing long term unpaved county road maintenance costs.
The Arkansas Unpaved Roads program is a partnership between the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Division of Rural Services, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Nature Conservancy. Approximately $300,000 is expected for this program in fiscal year 2019, which is applicable to any county in Arkansas, regardless of size or population. The deadline for Fiscal Year 2019 is March 7, 2019.
There are two requirements that have to be met to be eligible to receive funding for the Unpaved Roads Grant Program which includes:
(1) Mandatory Environmental Sensitive Maintenance (ESM) training for at least one county representative and for the county roads personnel, such as the county road’s foreman, most involved with the construction of the project. Training certification is good for five years.
(2) Schedule a pre-site visit with grants manager to discuss the potential project before an application is submitted for funding in excess of $25,000.
The Program is designed to fund work on public roads with unbound road surfaces. These are surfaces of natural material or crushed aggregate that have not been incorporated into a bound layer using asphalt, oil, or other such binder. For the Program, driving surface aggregate (DSA) is NOT considered “paved” even though the material looks similar to pavement/concrete and is laid with paving equipment. Public entities that own and maintain public roads in Arkansas that are open to public vehicle travel at least eight consecutive weeks a year are eligible to apply for up to $75,000 in state matching funds toward a single project.
For more information on this program, contact our Grants Manager, Brenda Rowell, at 1-888-RURAL-AR.