At least 300 people turned out for the unveiling of the plan for the South Knoxville waterfront redevelopment district, which runs along the Tennessee River between Baker Creek and Goose Creek.
The plan features several road reconfigurations, including roundabouts at the foot of the Gay St Bridge and the juncture of Sevier Ave and Island Home Ave. Sevier is to become a normal two-way street, losing its one-way loop around the lump of rock near Baptist Hospital. It will be widened slightly on the north side to allow for on-street parking, requiring only minor rights-of-way acquisitions. A new road along the edge of the floodplain between the Gay St Bridge and South Knoxville Bridge is proposed.
Another new road is proposed to run from the mouth of Goose Creek across Blount Ave and along the north rim of the quarry, connecting to the road to Fort Dickerson. Also, Augusta Ave and the rail corridor that runs behind the Scottish Pike neighborhood is slated for conversion to a boulevard to serve through traffic between Chapman Hwy and Vestal. Some rerouting of Blount Ave and Scottish Pike looks to threaten the Rinker Materials building.
A riverwalk will run from Goose Creek to the Gay St Bridge, where the natural topology will be morphed into an amphitheater directed toward a marina and a floating stage for concerts. Additional green space is planned along the water upriver toward the South Knoxville Bridge, including an arboretum and possible wetlands.
The plan leaves room for a children's discovery museum and conversion of existing rail lines to light rail. Realization of the plan will take 10 to 20 years. Cost estimates and funding sources are the next phase of planning, and a timeline was presented. The first five years will see reconfiguration of roadways and two development components, the Goose Creek marina and an office park at the foot of the South Knoxville Bridge on land owned by one (or more) of the Conleys.
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