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NEWS RELEASES
City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor
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For Immediate Release
Third Creek Restoration Project set to begin
Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program
Third Creek Restoration Plans [PDF]

August 21, 2006 - Mayor Bill Haslam, City Council, state officials, the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program (TSMP) and the design-build team of Buck Engineering and River Works will break ground soon on the Third Creek Restoration Project. The purpose of the project is to protect eroding stream banks, reduce sedimentation, improve water quality and in-stream habitat.

Project highlights include the construction of a new meandering stream channel with in-stream improvements for aquatic habitat and riparian restoration. Native trees and shrubs will be planted along both sides of the stream and the entire restored stream corridor will be protected by a perpetual conservation easement to be held by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation.


Mayor Bill Haslam, City Council members, Parks and Recreation representatives, state officials, the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program (TSMP) and the design-build team of Buck Engineering and River Works break ground on the Third Creek Restoration Project.

The City of Knoxville is the largest property owner affected by the project, which runs from West High School and along the Third Creek Greenway to Concord Street. Twelve private property owners have also granted conservation easements for the project. Affected property owners agree that the long-term benefits to the stream and their property will far outweigh any temporary inconvenience caused by the construction of the project.

"The affect of this construction, while potentially disruptive at times, will be a cleaner, healthier Third Creek that supports native plant and animal life," Mayor Haslam said. "These are complicated projects involving many regulatory agencies, resource managers and private property owners. It's gratifying to see them working together to make a difference in the Tennessee River watershed."

Ed Cole, chief of planning and environment for the Tennessee Department of Transportation stated, "It's a successful transportation program when we can construct an environmentally sound facility and invest mitigation dollars in projects such as the Third Creek Restoration Project. TDOT is pleased to have contributed more than $19-million to help fund the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program since 2000."

"We're pleased that the City of Knoxville, TDOT and the other agencies, organizations and property owners involved are coming together to improve water quality," said Paul Sloan, deputy commissioner for the Department of Environment and Conservation. "The health of Tennessee's rivers and streams is an important priority for the department and effective partnerships within our watersheds help to protect and improve the quality of our water in Tennessee."

Joey Woodard, program director for the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program, stated, "The TSMP is committed to providing meaningful compensatory mitigation for stream impacts. The Third Creek project is a great example of what can be accomplished for habitat and water quality through effective partnerships and a science-based restoration approach. We hope that the completion of this project will heighten awareness and encourage other municipalities and landowners to take the necessary steps to protect and restore water quality for future generations."

The plan includes the restoration of approximately 7,000 feet of Third Creek and 700 feet of a tributary along the Third Creek Greenway, beginning at Sutherland Avenue. This reach of Third Creek is on Tennessee's list of impaired waters due to historic channel straightening, excessive nutrient loading, and impacts to riparian buffers. The alterations to Third Creek have caused accelerated bank erosion and the degradation of in-stream habitat and water quality.

The project is being funded by the TSMP as compensatory mitigation for impacts associated with transportation projects within the Fort Loudoun watershed. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.1 million, with the City of Knoxville contributing $100,000 for earth moving and long-term management.

Other agencies associated with the effort include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), U.S. Corps of Army Engineers (USACE), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and the Knoxville Utility Board (KUB).

Construction is set to begin in September and continue over the next six months. Sections of the greenway may be temporarily closed at times to move equipment. For more information about the Third Creek Restoration Project or the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program, please visit www.tsmp.us.

For Immediate Release
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