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
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
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.