We're Going to Court!
December 22, 2017
The Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to environmentally responsible economic development in the Arkansas Delta.
We came together in 2014 around the cause of saving the historic Big White River Bridge (BWRB). Built in 1931 by "men and mules," this gorgeous landmark worthy of preservation (listed on the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the U.S. Department of Interior) is a vital piece of a larger strategy to develop tourism in the Arkansas Delta, a region that is simultaneously one of the most beautiful and the most poor in the United States.
Our mission is to save the historic BWRB and adapt it for use by cyclists, hikers, wildlife watchers, and pedestrians, so that it can serve as a vehicle for tourism-based economic development in the Arkansas Delta.
If preserved, the historic BWRB would be one of the longest and most scenic pedestrian and cycling bridges in the United States. It would also be one of the longest elevated bird viewing platforms in the world, complete with spectacular viewing afforded by the Mississippi Flyway of migratory birds which hourglasses to its narrowest point in this area.
Initially scheduled for demolition in early 2015, the historic Big White River Bridge has been replaced by a modern-day girder bridge. While construction delays on the new bridge helped delay the demise of the historic bridge, we have reached a crucial junction in our efforts to save the historic bridge.
In June 2016, we partnered with the law firm of Gill Ragon Owen and filed a lawsuit against the Federal Highway Administration, the Arkansas State Highway Commission, and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to halt the demolition of the historic bridge and force the relevant agencies to conduct new studies on the feasibility of allowing it to remain in place.
THE GOOD NEWS: The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department has responded to the lawsuit by postponing their call for bids to demolish the bridge... for now.
THE BAD NEWS: Even though the Gill Ragon Owen law firm is donating all of their legal services and pursuing the case on a pro bono basis, we have encountered additional costs associated with the lawsuit (e.g. filing fees, expert witnesses and court costs) that could rise as high as $25,000.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP: With your support, we have an excellent chance of prevailing in our lawsuit – whether that means we win outright or force a settlement that allows us to save the bridge – IF we have the financial resources to make our case as professionally and comprehensively as possible.
HOW YOUR DONATION WILL BE USED: Your 100% tax-deductible charitable donation to the Friends of the Historic White River Bridge at Clarendon through this campaign will be used exclusively to support the legal defense of the bridge. Should this campaign raise more in contributions needed to save the bridge, your donation will be used to help cover the costs of developing and maintaining the bridge. If we are unable to save the bridge, any remaining funds will be put toward the development of tourism in the Arkansas Delta.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE: As no goods or services of any value will be provided to you in exchange for your donation (just the joy of knowing you helped support a fantastic cause!), 100% of your contribution to this campaign is tax-deductible for the purposes of U.S. income tax, as permitted by law.
DONATION BY CHECK: If you prefer to make your donation by check, please make a check out to Friends of the Historic White River Bridge and send it to:
PO Box 141
Clarendon, AR 72029
Once we receive your check, we'll celebrate your contribution alongside those made online on this page. If you wish either the amount of your contribution or your name to remain hidden, please include a note indicating this along with your check. Thanks!