Nov. 1, 2023 Contact: Eric Vreeland
What: Ribbon-cutting for new Lancaster Drive sidewalk
When: 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023
Where: Lancaster Drive at Tilson Street,
western edge of Baker Creek Preserve
Who: Mayor Indya Kincannon, 1st District Councilman Tommy Smith
and other City Council members, South Knoxville business owners
On Friday morning, join Mayor Kincannon, City Council members and South Knoxville neighborhood advocates as they cut the ceremonial ribbon and officially open the City’s newest sidewalk on Lancaster Drive.
After the ribbon-cutting, Mayor Kincannon will walk the immediate area and discuss other new public amenities under construction, including a shade structure and restrooms at Baker Creek Preserve and new amenities soon to come to the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park.
The Lancaster Drive sidewalk is the City’s third major investment in pedestrian corridors in the past year – following the openings of Atlantic Avenue and Texas Avenue sidewalks. The three projects reflect a nearly $6 million City investment to enhance public safety while also connecting great spaces and neighborhoods.
The $1.5 million South Knoxville sidewalk, built by Southern Constructors Inc., strategically connects existing sidewalks on Sevierville Pike with the Urban Wilderness and Baker Creek Preserve. It runs along Lancaster between Tilson Street and Sevierville Pike, and it connects residents, South-Doyle Middle School students, businesses and the new Baker Creek public amenities.
The sidewalk also makes it easier and safer for people to choose transit and access KAT Route 40.
On Friday, Mayor Kincannon and City staff also will provide an update on multiple Urban Wilderness public amenities that are under construction or soon will be:
- Just south of the sidewalk ribbon-cutting site, see the new Baker Creek pavilion and restrooms that are nearing completion. This $2.6 million upgrade also will include hardscape areas, picnic tables, a water-filling station and parking spaces.
- Look for slides, play structures, a pavilion and restrooms to be added in the coming years at the Urban Wilderness Gateway Park, at the James White Parkway terminus at Sevierville Pike. The design is expected to be finalized and the project to go out for construction proposals in 2024.
- An Adventure Playground (an approximate $640,000 investment) is in the design stage and is scheduled to be installed in 2024 on the hill between the pavilion and Baker Creek Bottoms businesses.
- If you enjoy multi-use greenways, anticipate more connectivity coming to the Urban Wilderness in 2024 and 2025.
Work will continue on the Cottrell Street Greenway, which will connect the Baker Creek Greenway at Sevierville Pike and eventually continue on to Sevier Avenue and Anita Drive.
In addition, engineering design work is underway for a greenway crossing the James White Parkway bridge. This “missing link” will provide a safe connection between the Urban Wilderness amenities and neighborhoods south of the Tennessee River with points north of the river – Gov. Ned McWherter Park, the James White Greenway and Morningside Park Greenway.