WASHINGTON — Fort Smith and Pine Bluff have each received $1.2 million grants from the Economic Development Administration for infrastructure improvements that are projected to create 89 jobs.

WASHINGTON — Fort Smith and Pine Bluff have each received $1.2 million grants from the Economic Development Administration for infrastructure improvements that are projected to create 89 jobs.


The Fort Smith grant will be used for road and sidewalk improvements as well as construction of a parking lot for the planned Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Fort Smith expects the project will add 65 year-round jobs and generate a donation of land worth $4 million, according to EDA.


Pine Bluff will use its $1.2 million grant to upgrade about 40 miles of rail line that would be available to local businesses and manufacturers as an alternative mode of transportation during natural disasters. The rail improvements are also part of a broader effort to restore and improve rail service in Southeast Arkansas and Northeast Louisiana to attract new industry to the area. About 24 new jobs are expected from the improvements, according to EDA.


The EDA grants were revealed as part of a broader release of funding for Arkansas and six other states. In all, Arkansas received $9 million in grants to upgrade critical infrastructure and support resiliency efforts in the state that in recent years has suffered tornadoes, flooding and severe storms.


The grants would "enable communities across Arkansas to be more economically resilient in the wake of future natural disasters and other challenges," said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.


In all, the grants are projected to create more than 1,100 jobs, retain 20 existing jobs and generate more than $2 million in private investments, according to EDA.


Other Arkansas grants include:


• $1.1 million to construct a commercial hangar at the Stuttgart Municipal Airport.


• $1.2 million for rail improvements in Corning that will enable Peco Foods to build poultry processing and hatchery facilities on a 120-acre site in Clay County.


• $1.1 million to help build a workforce training center at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton.


• $1.2 million to the city of Hope for road and drainage improvements that will help develop a transportation terminal and trucking plaza near Interstate 30.


• $597,116 to support "Work Trade Center Arkansas," an export-focused program at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.


Three EDA grants for Faulkner County were announced Monday by members of the Arkansas delegation to Congress.