By Mike Steely
Someday several years from now you will be able to walk or bike from Fountain City all the way downtown. It’s years away but plans are certainly in the works.
In the interim the First Creek Greenway is, step by step, inching its way north. Last week Mayor Madeline Rogero and others cut the ribbon to officially open the new path connecting Fulton High School at Woodland Avenue to Edgewood Park. The new trail connection, across Broadway, adds a scenic bridge over First Creek and opening access on the paved path to hundreds of North Knoxville homes to the North Knoxville Library, the Larry Cox Senior Center and Broadway Shopping Center.
Tim Hester, Parks and Greenway Coordinator, told The Focus that plans are underway to link up the Adair Park Greenway to Old Broadway where the path will run along the creek there beside the Lynnwood Cemetery. Currently plans call for that part of the greenway to link up with the future extension of the Fountain City greenway at Old Broadway.
Hester said the next step on the First Creek Greenway project is to connect the North and South portions of the current greenway and then move north to eventually link with the Adair Park and Fountain City greenways.
The new connection was funded by $1.4 million from two federal grants through the state and the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization. The city put $406,000 in the project. The new trail segment, just over ½ miles long, contributes to the current 112 miles of paved greenways and trails in the city.
The Broadway Corridor Task Force supported securing the ten easements in front of Fulton High School to complete the project.
“This trail will help bring neighborhoods together as part of one community and encourage healthier lifestyles,” said Sheryl Ely, Director of Parks and Recreation. Funding has been approved and set aside for the next First Creek Greenway extension, a .9 mile segment from Fulton to the Cecil Avenue intersection on Broadway.
More information on the city’s current greenways and future plans are available at www.knovilletn.gov/greenways.