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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
City of Knoxville finishes significant greenway extension in Bearden
April 10, 2007 - Mayor Bill Haslam joined residents and business owners along Sutherland Avenue today to celebrate the completion of the final phase of the 2.1-mile Bearden Village Greenway.

The ribbon cutting was held on the greenway in front of the Tennessee Army National Guard Armory at 3330 Sutherland Avenue.

Bearden Greenway Ribbon Cutting
Mayor Bill Haslam, along with (left to right) Former City Councilman Ed Shouse, Knoxville Community and Neighborhood Services Senior Director Sam Anderson, Vice-President of Keep Knoxville Beautiful Terry Faulkner, (Mayor Bill Haslam), Former Knoxville Vice-Mayor Jack Sharpe, Former City Councilman Jean Teague, City Councilman Joe Bailey, City Councilman Barbara Pelot, Captain Aspland of the East Tennessee National Guard cut the ribbon for the Bearden Village Greenway at the National Guard Armory on Sutherland Ave.

The Guard was one of more than 50 different organizations and individuals that provided easements for the greenway ranging from homeowners and businesses to schools, churches, the University of Tennessee and the Knoxville Utilities Board.

The last .8-mile- phase of the 11-year-long greenway project stretches from Tobler Lane by West High School to Forest Park Boulevard. The last piece of the project, just a few dozen yards was completed last month.

The entire Bearden Village Greenway travels from West High past Westwood Drive to Bearden Elementary School. Additionally, the greenway includes cross-street linkage on Westwood Dr., Mohican St., Lebanon St., Mann Ave., and Tobler Lane.

With the completion of the final phase of the Bearden Village Greenway, Knoxville residents now have nearly 15 miles of connected greenways to use, stretching from Alex Haley Heritage Square to Bearden Elementary School.

"We're very proud of the Bearden Village Greenway project because it took the cooperation of many groups in the community, as well as a decades worth of planning and hard work by our employees to make this happen," said Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam. "This greenway will make this a stronger neighborhood and that, in turn, strengthens our entire city."

Completion of the greenway required the acquisition of 53 easements. Included among those partnering with the city in this project were Bearden Elementary School, West High School, Highland Cemetery, the University of Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board, Bearden United Methodist Church, Carlton Towers and CVS, as well as other businesses and residents along Sutherland Avenue.

It took $2.2 million to complete the Bearden Village Greenway dating back to 1996 when planning for the project began.

Barge Wagonner, Sumner and Canon designed the project, while the City Engineering Department oversaw the construction, which was completed by Southern Constructors Inc.

"Bearden Village Greenway serves many purposes for Knoxville residents," explained Sam Anderson, Senior Director of Knoxville Community and Neighborhood Services.

He noted that children in the area could walk to Bearden Elementary and West High schools from their homes; residents have more trails available for exercise, and the East and West Knoxville communities connected through our greenway system.

"This project was long and difficult," Anderson said. "But it was well worth it, considering the benefits that Knoxville residents will receive from the new greenway."

To help celebrate of the near 15-mile network of connected greenways (including Morningside, James White, Neyland, Third Creek, Sequoyah, and Bearden Village greenways), Haslam announced the CrossKnox 15K Race, or the Xknox race.

The race, run entirely on the Knoxville greenway system, will travel from Alex Haley Heritage Square to Bearden Elementary School.

Joe Walsh, Deputy Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation and a runner himself, expects a great turnout for the event.

"This race is one-of-a-kind for Knoxville," he said, explaining that runners will be picked up by buses and returned to Alex Haley Heritage Square after they complete the point-to-point course.

"We look at this race as an opportunity to showcase our greenway system," said Haslam. "Racers will receive the grand tour of our largest stretch of connected greenways, enjoying some the scenic beauty that Knoxville has to offer."

The CrossKnox 15K Race will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2007. For more information about the route, please visit www.cityofknoxville.org/greenways

For Immediate Release
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