Construction of the Greenway extension near Barfield Crescent Park is well underway. Anticipated completion is September 2019.
The newest 2.9-mile section of the Murfreesboro Greenway on Stones River will connect the terminus south of the Cason Trailhead to the existing trail at Barfield Road. It follows the West Fork of the Stones River. Watch a YouTube video of the Greenway extension plans at https://youtu.be/C8mE3xEFX1o.
"This is an unusual section of the Greenway trail. Part of it goes along the Stones River but part of it actually goes along Veterans Parkway," said City Engineer Chris Griffith. "It starts where the last section of the Greenway trail ended which is along Barfield Road. We thought it was important to connect all the way to Barfield Crescent Park to give a termination point and finish out the Greenway trail on the South side of the City."
The construction project includes a small trailhead parking area at Barfield Road, a neighborhood trailhead at Southridge Subdivision, and a trailhead at Barfield Crescent Park, as well as three bridge crossings. The City purchased the Right of Way during construction of Veterans Parkway because the Parks & Recreation Department had plans to build the trail along the new roadway. The Greenway extension also adds curb and gutter along Veterans with a wider trail separated from the road to encourage cycling.
Jarrett Builders, Inc. was awarded the Phase 4 Extension contract based on the low bid of $5.4 million. The project is funded through both federal and local sources. Approximately $3.37 million in federal funding will be matched with $844,538 in 20 percent local matching funds from the City with the remaining balance from the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
"Eventually, with later projects, our goal is to connect the trail on the North south side of Murfreesboro all the way to Siegel Soccer Park and the North Murfreesboro Greenway, along with additional connections in the Gateway," added Griffith. "So, essentially you will have the trail either alongside the road or along the river connecting strategic parks, neighborhoods, and destinations."
The Old Barfield Crescent Road bridge is being converted into a pedestrian bridge as part of the Phase 4 Extension. Users will go under the new Veterans Parkway Bridge to cross Veterans Parkway and the Stones River. The old bridge was left in place specifically so it could be converted to use as a pedestrian bridge.
"Not only do the greenways provide recreation venues for our citizens," said Parks & Recreation Director Angela Jackson, "They create a pedestrian transportation corridor that connects strategic sites throughout our City. We are excited to see construction of this next phase get underway."
The Greenway has been built in multiple phases since 1996 and currently includes some 15.3 miles of trails for walking, biking and running. The trailhead and trails provide easy access to the Stones River for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing, as well as playgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms and historic sites.
In December 2016, a 1.34-mile section of the Greenway System, the North Murfreesboro Greenway, opened at the Central Valley Trailhead located on Central Valley Road near Walter Hill Dam. Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the North Murfreesboro Greenway starts at Walter Hill Park on Highway 231 and heads west on the east side of the Stones River.
The first 4.5 miles of greenway opened with help from former U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon from Thompson Lane to Fortress Rosecrans in 1996; the Lytle Creek trail was completed in 1997. Additional projects have continued through the years, including not only the West Fork extension currently under construction, but the Gateway trail. The City's 25-year Greenway Plan includes a network of potential connections throughout the City.
The City Council Ok'd Phase 4 of the Greenway Extension in May 2017. The Greenway Projects Committee was established by resolution of the City Council May 10, 2007.
For more information on the Greenway, contact the Murfreesboro Greenway office at (615) 893-2141, or visit www.murfreesborotn.gov/parks.