The city of Monteagle, in an ongoing multi-year planning effort to invigorate and focus private and public investment along Highway 41 and increase the safety and overall quality of life for the citizens of Monteagle, has implemented a portion of the downtown corridor plan that also kicks off phase two of the effort to connect Cowan to Palmer along the historic Mountain Goat railroad bed aptly named for the steep climbs and rocky terrain of the southern Cumberland plateau on its way to the rich coal deposits of Grundy County from the mid 1800’s until the train’s last run on April 30, 1985.
The Highway 41 downtown corridor area is from interchange exit 134 to 135 along U.S. Highway 41. The corridor plan component has three primary elements. First is the evaluation of pedestrian and vehicular safety along the corridor. Second, the corridor study evaluates connectivity of public parks and recreation areas to civic buildings, neighborhoods and commercial venues. Finally, the corridor plan is to identify physical infrastructure investment. This investment is to achieve the citizen envisioned goals and objectives for accomplishing overall safety, quality of life and increased revenues along the corridor.
The planning process for this phase of the base plan consisted of five different townhall meetings and workshops hosted by the City of Monteagle. The urban design team of Farmer Morgan Associates led the design workshops which identified the citizen vision for the study area. The important qualities identified for redevelopment consist of pedestrian spaces, city identity, a town center and connectivity to parks, schools and businesses.
Monteagle has received two Mountain Goat Trail related federal/state grants since 2006 that funds 80% of the project.
The first successful MGT grant involved the support of 13 local and regional organizations and was for the amount of $582,560: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/news/2006/grundy.htm. The second MGT grant was awarded in 2009 for $200,000 and dealt with auxiliary enhancements to the trail thru town: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/news/2009/enhancementgrants/GrundyCoMonteaglegrant.pdf
For more information on the Mountain Goat Trail and its historical and recreational value to the Monteagle region, visit www.mountaingoattrail.org
The Monteagle Corridor Plan has been on display at City Hall since 2011 and has been distributed to the local businesses accordingly.