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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Ribbon Cutting for Papermill Bluff Greenway
City Greenways
September 28, 2011 - The City of Knoxville will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, September 29, to officially open the new Papermill Bluff Greenway. The ceremony will be held at the Church of the Savior, located at 934 N. Weisgarber Road.

The new greenway travels nearly a mile across moderately hilly terrain where it runs parallel with Interstate 40 and is visible to drivers. It begins at the corner of Papermill Road and Kirby Road in front of the Red Roof Inn and ends near the Church of the Savior at the corner of Weisgarber and Lonas Drive Road where it connects with the existing Wesigarber Greenway.

While it overlooks the interstate, at its highest points the Papermill Bluff Greenway also features views of Bearden Hill and the Great Smoky Mountains.

The new greenway is a significant addition to the city's greenways system because it provides a key link in the Parks and Recreation Department's long-term plan to develop a commuter greenway running from Middlebrook Pike all the way to Lakeshore Greenway in Lakeshore Park.

"This is another great addition to an already wonderful greenway system," said Mayor Daniel Brown. "The Papermill Greenway is an asset to the city by itself but, down the road, it's also going to help us make a lot of connections between greenways in West Knoxville."

The greenway was built within Tennessee Department of Transportation right-of-way. A greenway was initially designed and planned at the site as part of TDOT's SmartFix 40 project in 2005. The proposed greenway was scratched, however, due to funding constraints.

The Papermill Bluff Greenway was resurrected two years ago when funding became available through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) also known as the federal "stimulus package."

"They were looking for a shovel-ready project that was focused on energy efficiency, and this turned out to be the one we had ready to put out on the street," said Joe Walsh, Director of Knoxville Parks and Recreation. "This greenway makes a great connection between neighborhoods, churches and major businesses. This is yet another segment of trail that helps us get closer to linking other major greenways such as the Jean Teague, Third Creek and Lakeshore Park."

TDOT subsequently obtained the funding and the City of Knoxville was able to use it to build the Papermill Greenway.

Though the majority of the greenway is built within the TDOT right-of-way, the Church of the Savior also provided an easement to make it possible. The City of Knoxville Engineering Department oversaw the project; Wilbur Smith Associates provided construction inspection services and the construction contractor was APAC-Atlantic.

The ribbon-cutting also holds a special significance because it's the last greenway opening for Donna R. Young, the City of Knoxville's longtime Greenways Coordinator.

Young joined the city in 1994 when the position was created. At the time the City of Knoxville had one greenway covering less than five miles.

"This is truly the end of an era," said Walsh. "In her 17 years here, Donna helped to take our greenway system from 4.5 paved miles in 1994 to the 64 miles of greenways and trails we have today. I'm glad she'll get to snip one more ribbon for a greenway before she retires at the end of this week, and I think the engineering feats and the greenway linkage Papermill Bluff Greenway represents is a great way to commemorate Donna Young's career with the City of Knoxville."

For Immediate Release
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