CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Persistence has paid off for the City of Clarksville in its quest to complete a 10-mile hiking and biking trail linking the City’s downtown riverfront with Northeast Clarksville.
The Tennessee Department of Transportation has announced Clarksville will receive a $1.82 million federal Transportation Alternatives Project grant for construction of a pedestrian bridge over the Red River. Clarksville will be responsible for about $675,000 of the total $2.5 million project, including a 20 percent matching amount and all engineering, design and right-of-way costs.
The grant was awarded earlier this month and will be presented at a Sept. 16 gathering in Nashville. This was the fourth time the project was submitted to TDOT for funding consideration.
“We are extremely pleased to get this sizable grant toward a major quality-of-life project,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “We have been working for more than two decades to complete this system of trails, and now the last link is secured.”
The project, Red River Trail East Phase 2, provides the final connecting link between the Clarksville Riverwalk and the Clarksville Greenway. It will involve construction of a 290-foot long, 10-foot wide bridge that will cross the Red River at the site of a former railroad bridge. It also includes construction of a 500-foot ADA compliant overhead boardwalk that descends from the bridge to the surface level on the north bank of the river.
The bridge is the final phase the Red River Trail, which is part of the 1999 Greenways Master Plan. The new bridge and ramp will connect the Clarksville Greenway to the north with the Red River Trail and the Clarksville Riverwalk to provide an uninterrupted pedestrian and bike route from North Clarksville at Tiny Town Road to Downtown at Riverside Drive and College Street. The Red River Trail also includes a connection to the Austin Peay State University campus from the Kraft Street area.
Previous related projects were also funded by federal Transportation Alternatives Project Grants. In 2012, the 1,500-foot Clarksville River Trail, running north from the Riverwalk Extension at the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers, connected to an existing pedestrian crossing via the Red River Bridge at US Route 41A.
Red River East Trail Phase 1 was funded by a 2015 TA Grant. This project, currently under construction, will provide a 3,200-foot long, 10-foot wide trail eastward from US Route 41A along the Red River behind Kraft Street to the site of the new pedestrian bridge and ramp.
On the north side of the Red River, the 1,520 feet of trail needed to connect the bridge/ramp with the Greenways Overlook Trail was constructed last year by the city.