REI grant funds new pedestrian, bike bridge in South Knoxville

(Legacy Parks Foundation)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – REI is giving the Legacy Parks Foundation and Appalachian Mountain Bike Club a grant of $20,000. Executive Director Carol Evans said the money will be used to build a pedestrian and bicycle bridge.

The Urban Wilderness pedestrian bridge cross Redbud Rd. It will allow trail users to avoid crossing the road at a blind curve.

Related: Knoxville wins $100K bike trail grant

“We’re connecting another area of land, a big park, into the existing Urban Wilderness trials, so really it expands us closer to the middle school and brings parks into other neighborhoods,” said Evans. “Even though it’s just a bridge over the road, it’s a critical connection.”

Evans said the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club came up with the concept for the bridge. They did research and found out certain companies will sell per-constructed bridges, which made the project affordable.

REI’s Nolan Wildfire says the goal of the grant is to encourage more people to go outside. “Whether that means finding them the right trekking poles so that they feel comfortable, making sure they’re in good shoes that don’t have blisters whatever the case may be, we want them outside, playing and having a good time,” said Nolan Wildfire Outdoor Program and Outreach Market Coordinator.

Legacy Parks Foundation said construction on the bridge is scheduled for September.

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