City of Chattanooga wants new trailway along stream restoration project

City of Chattanooga wants new trailway along stream restoration project

October 25th, 2011 by Cliff Hightower in News

Steve Leach, Chattanooga Public Works Administrator.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

BY THE NUMBERS

$72,917

Amount of potential grant money coming from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for the proposed trailway.

$13,353

Amount of city match required for the grant.

$4,876

Amount the Tennessee Stream Mitigation Program could pitch in.

Source: Chattanooga

Chattanooga could be an application away from getting a grant to build a trail along the banks of a creek that has been rehabilitated to its natural state.

Steve Leach, the city's director of Public Works, said the city is applying for a Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation grant of $72,917 to build a paved trail along Friar's Branch. The Tennessee Mitigation Program could pitch in an extra $4,876.

"You have the creek, what can you do with it?" Leach asked. "One thing you can do is build a walking path."

The City Council will vote tonight on a resolution authorizing Public Works to pursue an application for the grant. The city would have to match the grant with $13,353.

If the grant comes through, it would be the first walking trail built that also could serve as an educational trail about stream restoration and stormwater runoff, Leach said.

The trail would be next to the Old Hickory Valley Golf Course on Hickory Valley Road. The site is a practice course for First Tee of Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golf teams.

Leach said the proposed plans include putting up a large sign at the trailhead about the stream restoration project and then signs at points of interest. The trail will be 8,100 feet long, he said.

With the golf course and the trail, it would provide choices for area residents, he said.

"It will be all recreation," he said.

City Councilman Jack Benson, who represents the area, said a lot of high-density housing has sprung up in the area through the years.

A walking trail along the banks of the creek is almost a no-brainer, he said.

"It's a natural for that," Benson said. "It's a trail that would be really used."

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