Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks was accompanied by several local officials at a news conference with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in Nashville Monday to accept a $1.4 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to complete Phase 6 of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
of the awarding of the grant was announced last month in the Cleveland Daily Banner.
With the mayor in Nashville were Cleveland Greenway Board of Directors Chairman Cameron Fisher, Cleveland City Councilman Tom Cassada, Cleveland Councilman Ken Webb, Cleveland Parks and Recreation Director Patti Petitt and Assistant to the Cleveland City Manager Brian Moran.
The grant was part of a $13.7 million Transportation Alternative Program package awarded to 15 cities statewide.
Cleveland will be responsible for 20% of the cost to complete Phase 6, which will run from Willow Street to Inman Street.
During the ceremony, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said Tennessee is "committed to continuing to develop safe infrastructure across our states."
“These grants will help us reach our goal of being a healthier state and will enhance the lives of Tennesseans by making our communities more accessible and livable," Lee said.
TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright said the transportation alternatives grant is made possible through a federally funded program and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
“Through these grants, TDOT has funded $386 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Bright said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”
Phase 6 of the greenway will be the next step in connecting the city's system of pathways to its downtown.
While there are not yet any official designs for the project, the city will be working with TDOT to complete an environmental review, which will be submitted to the state for approval. The next step will be to acquire rights of way along the greenway path. Those processes will take approximately three to four years to complete before the project is shovel ready.
Initial plans for the greenway include constructing pathways on the north side or south side of South Mouse Creek, ultimately connecting to Inman Street.
In addition, it has not yet been determined if the greenway will cross under or over a bridge located at the corner of Inman Street and Keith Street.
Phase 1, which stretches from 25th Street to 20th Street, was completed in 2001. To date, the greenway consists of just under five miles of pathway for walking for biking.
According to TDOT, the Transportation Alternatives Program, which began in 1991, has distributed more than $137 million in grants for sidewalks, bike and pedestrian trails, as well as for the restoration of historic buildings such as train depots and other transportation-related structures.
To date, the greenway has received more than $3.4 million in grants from Tennessee Department of Transportation, as well as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Healthy Community Initiative, and others.
The Casteel Connector, named for former city manager Janice Casteel, was opened last year and begins at the North Ocoee entrance to Ocoee Crossing and follows along the right side of the small creek to Keith Street between Logan’s Restaurant and Keith Street Ministries. It goes underneath the bridge on Keith Street, following the roadway into Tinsley Park, veering along the creek by the softball complex, eventually merging with the existing greenway.