Gearing up for the Knox County Water Trail

Mike DonilaFun Outdoors

Work has been underway for a little while on the Knox County Water Trail, a 44-mile stretch of navigable water along Beaver Creek that touches five communities between Clayton Park in Halls and Melton Hill Park in Hardin Valley.

The initiative is something Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has been proud to champion. He began developing the idea and the plan to bring it to fruition after participating in the Powell Station Flotilla several years ago.

On Wednesday, a number of us met, including folks from the Mayor’s Office and the Parks and Recreation Department and Knox County Commission chair Larsen Jay (also a huge water trail supporter who is helping the Mayor’s Office with the project). Mostly we received an update from the parks folks, and it looks like things are moving along. We plan to spend 2021 and a good part of 2022 cleaning out Beaver Creek and installing signs. We’re also going to look for sponsors to help with kiosks and kayak launches.

Also, we are more than likely going to host volunteer cleanup days in which county workers and residents join forces for a day to work on the trail. We did this some years back at House Mountain, partnering with the good folks over at the Mast General Store in downtown Knoxville. At the time, we spent a day repairing steps and some split rail fences. It was great work and with everyone pitching in, it didn’t take all that long.

For more information about the Knox County Water Trail, go here.

Speaking of water. We had a busted waterline at John Tarleton Park that needed repair. Crews out there are also lining the fields at Tarleton, getting them ready for the Lacrosse season.

Our carpenters pretty much finished the boat docks at Cherokee Park, across from the Cove, and the one at Concord Park. They have all the pieces together and are waiting for the water levels to rise again to put them together.

Also out west, crews had to install posts and cables in the low area near the dog park and restrooms. There’s been too many knuckleheads driving their trucks around, doing donuts and tearing up the place.

And at the Sportspark in Karns, we added fryers and a grill to the concession stand. That means hot food for baseball and softball games!

The Engineering and Public Works Department also was busy the past week.

We mobilized our entire highway forces for snow operations at 1 a.m. on Monday and continued through Tuesday at midnight. This included pre-treating our collector and arterial roadways with brine. Trucks were loaded with salt, but we ended up not using it since there was no accumulation. Better safe than sorry. These folks work hard and they often work around the clock!

In addition, crews also:

  • Kodak Road – dirty lot demolition and cleanup
  • Yarnell Road – Bridge superstructure replacement underway with Whaley Construction Company as a result of mandatory closure from TDOT Bridge Inspection Department. Bridge deck placement expected mid-February with road opening anticipated early to mid-March.

Here’s a carousel of photos from this week’s projects.

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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