City of Knoxville officials and community stakeholders cut the ribbon Monday for a new 0.6-mile segment of First Creek Greenway, connecting Fulton High School at Woodland Avenue to Edgewood Park.
The new trail segment also links the 4th and 5th City Council districts across Broadway and with a scenic bridge stretching over First Creek. The connection translates to hundreds of homes gaining pedestrian access to the North Knoxville Library, the Larry Cox Senior Center, the Broadway Shopping Center, other retail and commercial businesses, and various access points for Knoxville Area Transit Route 22 Broadway.
“While this project provides many layers of services for the community in its own right, it’s also part of a much larger plan to make Broadway a thriving, multi-use transportation corridor that will accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and KAT riders in addition to drivers,” said Mayor Madeline Rogero.
The $1.4 million project was funded by two federal grants, totaling $950,000, through the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization. The City of Knoxville contributed $406,000 toward the project.
City Engineering oversaw the greenway segment’s construction. The City contracted Cannon and Cannon to be the project designer, and Wilson Construction Group served as the construction contractor.
Ten easements were secured to complete the segment opened in front of Fulton High School on Monday. The Broadway Corridor Task Force supported securing the final pieces to complete the project.
“Establishing a trail that offers such an escape to nature in one of Knoxville’s busiest and long-developed parts of town is a true achievement,” said Sheryl Ely, Director of Parks and Recreation. “This trail will help bring neighborhoods together as part of one community and encourage healthier lifestyles.”
Work to build First Creek Greenway along the Broadway corridor, connecting Fountain City to downtown Knoxville, has been underway since the initial First Creek Greenway segments were built in First Creek Park and Caswell Park beginning in the late 1990s.
Funding has already been set aside for the next First Creek Greenway segment that will link from Fulton High School to the existing 0.9-mile segment of First Creek Greenway that begins at the Cecil Avenue intersection of Broadway.
Once complete, pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to travel from Edgewood Park to downtown Knoxville on one long, seamless stretch of First Creek Greenway. Officials are currently in the design phase for this segment.
The full First Creek – Broadway Greenway Corridor plans are outlined in the City’s Greenway Corridor Feasibility and Assessment Study that was released in 2016.
For more information on City of Knoxville greenways, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/greenways.