The City of Clarksville will continue with its planned $2.5 million pedestrian bridge over the Red River that will connect the downtown riverfront area with the northeastern part of the city, thanks to a large grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
According to TDOT, Clarksville will receive a $1.82 million federal Transportation Alternatives Project grant for construction of the bridge.
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 awarding of the grant was announced at the Thursday, Aug. 29 executive session of the Clarksville City Council.
When the construction of the bridge is completed, cyclists and runners will be able to ride and run on a 10-mile biking and hiking trail that will link the Clarksville Greenway to the city’s Riverwalk downtown.
Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts said the city is extremely pleased to receive the sizable funding for what he called a major quality-of-life project.
“We have been working for more than two decades to complete this system of trails, and now the last link is secured,” Pitts said.
- Construction of a 290-foot long, 10-foot wide bridge that will cross the Red River at the site of a former railroad bridge.
- 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.
Red River Trail East Phase 2 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.
Cyclist Stu Drake, who works for Riverside Bicycle Shop, located on North Riverside Drive, not far from where the bridge will be built, said he’s hopeful Clarksville will continue constructing even more uninterrupted bike paths that are found in what he calls “forward thinking” communities.
“Connecting the Clarksville Greenway to the Downtown Riverwalk is a huge step in the right direction,” Drake said.
The Red River Trail also includes a connection to the Austin Peay State University campus from the Kraft Street area.
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.
The grant was awarded earlier this month and will be formally presented to the city on Sept. 16 in Nashville.
This was the fourth time the project was submitted to TDOT for funding consideration.