The city of Cleveland has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to complete Phase 6 of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.The announcement was made by …
The city of Cleveland has been awarded a $1.4 million grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to complete Phase 6 of the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
The announcement was made by Cleveland City Manager Joe Fivas Monday during the Cleveland City Council’s work session at the Municipal Building.
Fivas said the city will be responsible for 20% of the cost to complete Phase 6, which will run from Willow Street to Inman Street.
Phase 6 of the greenway will be the next step in connecting the city's system of pathways to its downtown.
“This is a big deal,” Fivas said.
Fivas said Phase 6 will be one of the more difficult phases due to the presence of creeks, as well as private properties along the site.
As for now, there are not yet any official designs for the project. However, 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.
“We are looking at both options,” Fivas said.
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.
Greenway Board Chairman Cameron Fisher said Phase 6 is a major part of the downtown revitalization plan.
“This has been a piece that has been worked on for a while,” Fisher told the Cleveland Daily Banner. “We had to wait for the Casteel Connector to get finished before applying for the TDOT grant.”
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.
While there is no set timetable for the project, Fisher said there is plenty of work to be done.
“We have lots of i’s to dot and lots of t’s to cross,” Fisher said.
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