The Shelby Farms Greenline
is greenlighted to be the longest pedestrian trail in all of Shelby County pending a $4.3 million extension. At a groundbreaking on August 7, park and public officials were on hand to mark the upcoming eastern terminus at the Old Cordova Rail House. When construction is completed in 2016, the 4.15-mile extension will extend the existing 6.5-mile Shelby Farms Greenline from Midtown to Cordova.
Each year, more than 200,000 people visit the Shelby Farms Greenline, and that number is expect to increase exponentially as the Greenline extension connects more neighborhoods, schools and recreational facilities that could previously only be reached by car. New Eco Counter technology will track the expected growth at nine different locations by measuring attendance numbers and whether the visitors are on foot, bike or motorized vehicle.
"The goal of the Shelby Farms Greenline is to connect people to the Park and to each other,” said Shelby Farms Park Conservancy Executive Director Laura Morris. “Prior to its creation, you couldn’t access the Park without a car. Now we’re seeing more than 1,000 visitors hitting the trail each week."
The east extension will be accessed by six entrances, many of which are currently daunting to cyclists and pedestrians. Appling Road will become a 3-way stop. Germantown Parkway is being fitted with staggered stoplights for east and west traffic with a reinforced safety barrier along the median so pedestrians can cross without slowing down traffic.
$3.3 million of the total budget came from funds provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, and a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement grant paid for the creative crossing at Germantown Parkway.
The extension is designed by Ritchie Smith and Associates
. Construction is being completed by Wagner Construction, and Bob Evans of Shelby County will serve as project director.