The BDBF hosts the largest cycling event in Arkansas, the Big Dam Bridge 100, which has grown to 3,500 riders. With proceeds from the BDB100, we invest in growing and improving the BDB 100, and we donate to events and organizations around the State that increase health, fitness, and physical activity. The BDBF also partners with government and private stakeholders to leverage our donations in order to make improvements at the Big Dam Bridge and along the River Trail.
You can help! The BDBF encourages others to join us in our efforts to make the Big Dam Bridge and the River Trail an even more inviting and enjoyable destination. By building coalitions and combining resources with those who share common goals, we will accomplish more with our charitable giving. If you or your organization would like to make improvements at the Big Dam Bridge or along the River Trail, the BDBF welcomes the opportunity to visit with you about the possibility of joining forces.
Our mission is to promote the use, support and preservation of the Big Dam Bridge for the advancement of health, fitness, cultural and recreational activities in Arkansas. We believe that a healthy life style is important for a number of reasons:
- Participants in health and fitness activities enjoy life more fully.
- Participants in health and fitness activities set an example that others can follow.
- Participants in health and fitness activities act as a role model for today’s youth. This is very important due to the rising youth obesity rate.
History of the Big Dam Bridge
as told by Judge Buddy Villines
It took eight years from conception to completion to build "The Big Dam Bridge". There have been many who wondered about that name. How did it get that name? Was it just a marketing ploy or a statement of the obvious, a big bridge on a dam. It was a little of both and more. The first two or three years were tough, pulling together several federal, state and local agencies. There was some resistance. The design was complex. The cost were great. There came a time when everyone involved was ready to quit.
I walked into one of those meetings where the frustrations were running high with the tone and attitude of giving up. My response was simple, "we are going to build that dam bridge". There was a pause and then laughter as people realized that I said "dam" instead of "damn". But it served its purpose. That became an expression of resolve as we moved forward. When we were preparing for the opening, I took the planning group, Denver Peacock and Jordan Johnson, up on the bridge. I Think the comment was, "wow, this is big". To which I responded, "yes, it's a big dam bridge". They recognized the marketing value for the opening and beyond.
Thus, we have "THE BIG DAM BRIDGE".