MORRISTOWN (WATE) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced on Monday a grant awarded to the city of Morristown.

A grant in the amount of $700,805 transportation alternative grant to the city of Morristown for Phase 5 of the Turkey Creek Greenway.

“One of our big initiatives in the state is to have Tennessee be a healthier state. We were ranked in the bottom five or six states when it comes to health statistics so if we’re going to change that it’s going to mean people making better lifestyle choices and when people have a place they can go out and exercise that just makes it easier and more realistic that they’ll actually carry through,” Haslam said.

He also says creating more outdoor exercise opportunities can also help bring more businesses to our area.

“More and more when we’re recruiting companies they want to know is this a place where my employees will want to live,” Haslam said.

This project will be nearly 6,000 feet of 10-foot wide multimodal asphalt paved path that will connect the trailhead at the Freddie Kyle Trail at Cherokee Drive and travel north to the trailhead at Wildwood Park. The trail will be located within the old abandoned Peavine railroad right-of-way, and will include three crosswalks and two small bridges across Turkey Creek. Morristown currently has more than seven miles of greenway since the start of the Greenway Master Plan.

“Bicycle paths and walking paths are pretty much trending and we have found a route that’s been well received by the public. You can get from one end of the city to another,” said Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement, and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.