The Rock Creek Greenway will be getting a much-requested expansion in the coming months, according to several city officials.
During the June 26 meeting of the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the city announced it will be moving forward this year with plans to extend the Rock Creek Greenway farther south toward West Lincoln Street.
Current plans involve building a portion of the greenway near Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, according to Tullahoma Parks and Recreation Director Kurt Glick.
The pathway section will be located in a small parcel of city-owned property next to the strip mall that contains Ollie’s and Save-A-Lot and abuts the Lincoln Street Bridge next to Franklin Street.
This first project is only Phase I of a three-year plan, according to Glick.
Eventually, the greenway will connect from the plaza area all the way to D.W. Wilson Community Center, though the city still needs to secure some easements to complete the pathway from Collins to West Lincoln streets.
Originally, said Glick, the plan was to connect the Lincoln Street property to the current greenway located behind St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, but easement difficulties with the property owners have forced the city to search for an alternate route.
“We won’t be able to go through the property on the east side of the creek (Rock Creek),” said Glick.
However, Glick said that the city has been able to map out an alternative route that could solve any easement issues.
“We’ve been successful in finding a route where we can go on the west side of the creek out to West Lincoln Street and make the trail complete that way,” he added.
That route includes going behind the Coffee County Lannom Library and the Coffee County Senior Citizens Center on North Collins Street, crossing over West Grundy Street with a crosswalk and going under West Lincoln Street next to the bridge.
For now, the city will focus on the West Lincoln Street parcel, which Glick said would only take a couple months to complete.
Completely grant funded
No city funds will be used for the expansion, said Glick.
The winning vendor of the entire project, according to a memo on the project sent by Glick to the city board, is Curl Construction and Excavating, a Wartrace-based company.
The price for all three phases of the project came in at $358,075.00.
According to the memo and Glick, the total fiscal impact of the first phase of construction will be $99,200, none of which will come from city coffers.
The funding for the expansion is made possible by a Tennessee Department of Health grant aimed at reducing diabetes, said Glick.
“The grant comes in three-year increments,” he said at the meeting.
Overall, said Glick the grant project totals at a little less than $430,000, divided up “pretty evenly” over the next three years.
The grant is part of the Project Diabetes project from the health department.
According to the state website, the initiative gives grants to communities in Tennessee that focus on “reducing overweight and obesity as risk factors for the development of diabetes.”
The goals of the project focus on making exercise a “routine part of life” and keeping healthy food and beverage options the “routine, easy choice.”
Erin McCullough may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.