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VOL. 128 | NO. 238 | Friday, December 06, 2013

Wolf River Greenway Part of Transportation Funding

By Bill Dries

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Plans for a fifth leg of the Wolf River Greenway in North Memphis are getting $271,305 in state funding awarded through the local Metropolitan Planning Organization.

A plan to expand the Germantown Greenway from Nashoba Park to Cameron Brown Park was among 15 projects to receive funding from the Metropolitan Planning Organization this week.

(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)

The 1.5-mile segment along McLean Boulevard from Nedra Avenue to Chelsea Avenue is part of the list of 15 “transportation alternatives” projects totaling $2.6 million announced this week by the MPO, a regional planning organization that takes in Shelby and DeSoto counties, and parts of Fayette and Marshall counties.

The list is topped by $880,000 for improvements along Center Street in Collierville from Starlight Drive to Keough Road that will include bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, landscaping, benches and bike racks.

Some preliminary and tentative design work is already underway on the fifth phase of the Greenway, said Bob Wenner, the Wolf River Greenway coordinator for the Wolf River Conservancy.

On the southern end of the new phase it would connect with another new part of the greenway.

“This essentially is a little bit of an extension of that phase of the greenway,” Wenner said. “The McLean to Hollywood section, we just got the notice to proceed from (Tennessee Department of Transportation) about two weeks ago. So we can start doing some of the real estate portion of that project.”

The tentative plans are for a bicycle track, which includes two opposing bike lanes on the east side of McLean.

“McLean is very wide there so we figured we could put the road on a diet and reclaim some of that asphalt,” Wenner said.

The northern end of the Nedra-to-Chelsea leg would link up with the Chelsea Avenue Greenline, which is funded in the longer running 2014-2017 list of Transportation Alternatives Projects administered by the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The Chelsea Avenue Greenline would follow an old rail line from the New Chicago section of North Memphis to Washington Park on North Second Street in the Uptown area.

Other projects that were awarded funding by the MPO this week include $271,304 for an extension of the Germantown Greenway Trail from Nashoba Park, where it now ends, to Cameron Brown Park.

There was also $250,000 for the repair and replacement of existing sidewalks and construction of new sidewalks on Ball Road and Ketchum Road between Perry Road and Airways Boulevard in the old Memphis Defense Depot area of South Memphis.

Another $179,000 was awarded for sidewalks, curbs and gutters on Range Line Road in Frayser between St. Elmo and Wellons avenues.

And planners in Southaven were awarded $150,000 for sidewalks and bicycle lanes in the Carriage Hills subdivision, north of Rasco Road.

The Memphis Area Transit Authority gets $36,000 to replace bike racks on the front of its city buses.

And the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library would get a $75,000 mid-block pedestrian crossing on Poplar Avenue that allows those using the bus stop on the other side of Poplar to cross the busy avenue in a safer manner.

Three intersections on Mississippi Boulevard in the Soulsville area also would get signalized pedestrian crossings with curb ramps as well as marked-off areas at the corners that are designed to slow auto traffic.

The intersections to get the changes with the $130,000 in funding are Mississippi and Walker avenues, Mississippi and McLemore avenues and Mississippi and South Parkway.

Two Memphis schools, Dunbar Elementary and Hanley Elementary, get improved sidewalks and crosswalks with $100,000 in funding for the Dunbar project and $130,000 for the Hanley project.

The Hernando DeSoto River Park in DeSoto County, formerly known as Bass Landing, is on the list for $36,000 for construction of a scenic overlook with signage and another $40,000 in funding for a bike route along Delta View Road, in Walls, as well as a park overlook.

A Nesbit, Miss., fire station trail and connector that includes a bicycle route along McIngvale Road and Pleasant Hill Road is on the list for $24,000.

And landscaping and similar improvements for highway interchanges in DeSoto County and the Mississippi Welcome Center were awarded $96,668 in funding.

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