Keeping it Green: Jurisdictions combining plans to connect various greenways
by Cameron Fisher Cleveland/Bradley Greenway Board
Jan 19, 2014 | 396 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week the Knoxville City Council passed a resolution to begin the first phase of what is being called the KnoxBlount Greenway Project, which proposes to build a greenway linking Knoxville to Maryville.

In a release from WBIR.com, Jim Hagerman, Knoxville’s director of engineering was quoted as saying, “It’s a greenway that goes right up the bank of the river, the Fort Loudoun Reservoir, and across the river on the south bank. It will be very scenic and very pleasant.”

Hagerman concluded his comments by saying the first phase would take about 13 months to build.

Will Skelton, a veteran member representing Knoxville on the Great Smoky Mountains Regional Greenway Council, said in an email to the group, “The KnoxBlount Greenway is certainly a great step forward for Knoxville, Knox County, Alcoa, Maryville, Blount County and indeed the entire region as this will be a nationally significant Greenway when finished, connecting much of Knoxville's extensive greenways system to the equally extensive Alcoa/Maryville greenways, and on to Townsend, making for well over 30 miles of connected Greenway.”

Wow. Impressive.

Congratulations are certainly in order for this group of Greenway supporters who first came together a decade ago to connect their communities. I have seen portions of Knoxville’s Greenway system and have run much of Nashville’s. Alcoa and Maryville have an exemplary Greenway network, including an impressive pedestrian bridge over the Maryville/Alcoa Highway.

While we admire the accomplishments of our neighbors in East Tennessee, who’s to say the same persistence and “connectivity” can’t happen in Southeast Tennessee? Last month, the city of Chattanooga announced the planned extension of its greenway/riverpark, basically from Ross’s Landing to Cloudland Canyon State Park. The proposed trail would meander through the south side of Chattanooga and through portions of the old foundry along Interstate 24.

Chattanooga has a number of other greenways, including one that begins (or ends) at Camp Jordan, ventures under Interstate 75 and crosses the Brainerd levee. And more are planned.

Between Cleveland and Chattanooga is Collegedale, a community that boasts an impressive Greenway beginning at the public library, taking in the popular Imagination Station, winding through a military/veterans park and through wooded areas along Wolftever Creek, and connecting several neighborhoods, as well as Southern Adventist University.

I can envision a time in the not-too-distant future when our Southeast Tennessee communities can unite, similar to the Great Smoky Mountain Greenway Council. This organization’s persistence and partnership has earned it favor with state and federal agencies resulting in cooperation to see a major vision like the KnoxBlount Greenway.

So how about the “BradHam Greenway?” Maybe formation of the “Southeast Tennessee Greenway Council” needs to be founded first.

How about it, Chattanooga?

———

Online: www.cbcgreen-way.com.

Facebook: The Greenway