$2.2 Million Greenway Along Old Rail Line To Connect Alton Park With The Riverwalk

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A $2.2 million greenway along an old rail line will connect Alton Park with the Tennessee Riverwalk.

Officials said the city's portion of the project that goes near 33rd Street will be $440,000.

The city is applying for a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation for design and construction funds.

The old rail line was built off the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad line that went into town to the old Union Station across from the Read House. The NC&Stl insignia can still be seen on the St. Elmo Avenue overpass.

The route includes an overpass over St. Elmo Avenue, an at-grade crossing of Broad Street near Broad Street Fast Lube and WDEF TV, and a viaduct at Alton Park Boulevard (South Market).

Trains ran along the line occasionally until some 10 years ago, but most of the tracks were taken up when the service ended. There are fragments of track past Chandler Avenue, and they are in good shape in the vicinity of the 38th Street crossing and beyond to Workman Road.

The pathway will extend to a city park near the end of Workman Road.

At the west end, it will connect to the new section of the Riverwalk that is almost completed from Ross's Landing to St. Elmo.

Blythe Bailey, city transportation director, said it will be a wide, multi-use pathway.

City Council Chairman Moses Freeman said Alton Park residents will be able to make their way downtown on a safe pathway rather than traveling along busy roadways.

Councilman Chris Anderson said, "It's a great project. I'm thrilled to see it happen."

The Trust for Public Land has been involved in securing use of the line from CSX Railroad.

At one time, Alton Park was served with three railroads, including an extension from the Central of Georgia and the TAG Railroad that went down through Chattanooga Valley to Gadsden, Ala.

Alton Park was its own city with a mayor and city government until 1929.

 



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