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Four mile eastward extension planned for Greenline

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Officials from Shelby County and Shelby Farms Park Conservancy will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the 4.15 mile eastward extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline.

The ceremony will take place at the Greenline Trailhead at the corner of Mullins Station and Farm Road on June 16 at 10 a.m.

Shelby Farms Greenline is a paved urban trail that transformed an unused railroad into what is currently a 6.5 mile cycling and pedestrian trail that connects the heart of Memphis to the northeastern entrance of Shelby Farms Park.

The addition of the 4.15-mile extension makes the Shelby Farms Greenline the longest continuous greenline trail in Shelby County. The newly expanded Greenline will run from Tillman Street at Walnut Grove Road in Midtown to B Street/Macon Road at the Cordova Depot in Cordova.

“Shelby Farms Greenline is one of the region’s most popular multi-use trails. Everyone can use it for free and as equals on this unique public asset owned by them,” said Jen Andrews, executive director, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. “The Greenline connects thousands of neighbors to the trail, to the Park and to each other.”

Each year, more than 200,000 people visit the Shelby Farms Greenline that connects Midtown Memphis to the Shelby Farms Park.

The Greenline extension, designed by Ritchie Smith and Associates, will provide the same cycling and pedestrian access to even more neighborhoods, schools and other recreational facilities that could previously only be reached by car.

The number of people using the Greenline is expected to grow exponentially, and that growth will be tracked using two new Eco Counters. These two visitor counters will tie into the seven other solar-powered counters around the Park that help keep track of the number of Park and Greenline visitors and how they are accessing the Park (on foot, bicycle or motorized vehicle).

“We’re excited about the expansion of the Greenline,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. “What we’ve accomplished here is a model for other communities. This new section leading through the heart of Cordova will provide a unique and scenic setting for walking, running and biking.
“It’s encouraging to see more of our citizens using the Greenline as a way to build physical fitness into their routines,” he concluded.

There will be six entrances to the Greenline extension at cross streets, including Appling Road, which will become a 3-way stop. The trail also safely crosses Germantown Parkway.

Engineers crafted a crossing solution that keeps pedestrians safe and avoids slowing down vehicular traffic. The innovative crossing includes two separate, staggered stoplights for eastbound and westbound traffic with a reinforced safety barrier along the median that allows visitors to safely travel between lights.

Construction on the extension, which began on Aug. 3, 2015 was carried out by Wagner Construction and Bob Evans of Shelby County served as the Project Director.

The total cost of the eastern extension is $4.3 million. $3.3 million came from state and federal funds provided through the Tennessee Department of Transportation, most notably of which was the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grant that paid for the unique crossing at Germantown Road.