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Mary Vestal Greenway Extension: Brought to You by Public Works 
Paving Mary Vestal Greenway
Crews paving a section of Mary Vestal Greenway that passes through a community center parking lot.

The City of Knoxville currently has 112 miles of existing greenways and trails overseen by the Parks and Recreation Department. Many of those trails link neighborhoods and various amenities throughout the city.

In some cases such as the Vestal community in South Knoxville, there are areas where a small link could go a long way. As it stood before a recent project in the area, the 0.4-mile Mary Vestal Greenway linked across Maryville Pike, connecting the South Knoxville Community Center and Mary Vestal Park.

The City’s Engineering Department just last year completed a sidewalk along West Young High Pike that links hundreds of homes in the Vestal community southeast to shopping and dining opportunities on Chapman Highway. (Click HERE to read more on that sidewalk project. )

Still missing was a small link through a wooded property (between Ogle Avenue and the South Knoxville Community Center parking lot) that would link all of those homes north to the community center and Mary Vestal Park.
Mary Vestal Greenway Map

City Parks and Greenways Coordinator, Tim Hester, coordinated with community stakeholders for input and worked with the City’s Law Department to acquire the two necessary easements for the greenway link.

In government projects, once the easement acquisition phase is completed, it’s usually another several months before construction can begin. There is an entire bidding process that comes with hiring out work to contractors.

Thanks to the creation of the City’s Greenways Service Crew in December 2016, less complicated trail projects such as this 0.3-mile connection can now be built in-house.

In this case, that’s exactly what happened. The ribbon cutting for the Mary Vestal Greenway extension is now scheduled for Monday, June 4, at 4 p.m. at 115 Ogle Ave.

The Greenways Service Crew laid the groundwork for the connection with grading, clearing debris, and removing overgrown vegetation. The Public Service Department’s other divisions assisted:

  • The Urban Forestry Division cleared trees;
  • the horticulture crews also helped clear brush; and
  • the Asphalt and Concrete crews then came in to install the infrastructure.

Public Service crews that worked on Mary Vestal Greenway extension

Those crews are putting the finishing touches on the project in the final days of May, which happens to include National Public Works Week.

The completion of the Mary Vestal Greenway extension instantly removes a pedestrian barrier between two important sections of the Vestal community.

Mary Vestal Gateway Park
Mary Vestal Gateway Park

Residents, enthusiastic about this trail connection, have used several community grants to install an artistic arch over the Ogle Avenue entrance of the new greenway, as well as an adjacent pavilion in what the community has dubbed “Vestal Gateway Park.”

Including the Mary Vestal Greenway extension, the Greenways Service Crew has already constructed approximately two miles of new trails. That’s in addition to executing ongoing maintenance of the City’s existing 112-mile trail system.

For more information on City greenways and trails, visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/greenways.

GREENWAYS SERVICE CREW

Meet the team:
Dwayne Miley – Greenways Service Crew Foreman
Katina Bradley – Public Service Worker II
Benny Jordan – Equipment Operator II
Josh LeClair – Construction Worker
Wayne Bailey – Equipment Operator

The fleet:
2 pickup trucks
1 dump truck
1 all-wheel-drive mule
1 mini-skid steer
1 wood chipper
2 bicycles

Trails completed since January 2017

New:
Mary Vestal Greenway extension
Botanical Garden Trail extension
Baker Creek Forest Trail
Charter Doyle Greenway extension
Sam Duff Greenway extension
Zaevion Dobson Trail
Loves Creek Greenway enhancement

Repaved:
Turkey Creek Greenway
Third Creek Greenway (in process)
Sequoyah Greenway (in progress)

Posted by kgibi On 25 May, 2018 at 10:55 AM