KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As a multimillion improvement project continues at Lakeshore Park, the Northshore Drive entrance and exit will be closed for several months starting on October 10.
The closure is estimated to last six to eight months as contractor teams remove thousands of square yards of rock and install roughly $4 million in drainage infrastructure. The entrance will also be widened and an acceleration lane will be added making it safe for those exiting to merge onto Northshore Drive. The park’s perimeter loop trail will also be moved further into the park. The city hopes this will keep pedestrians on the loop from coming in contact with vehicles entering the park.
The entrance is scheduled to reopen around when the youth soccer season starts next spring. While it is closed, visitors are asked to use the park’s Lyons View Pike entrance and exit, across from the East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery.
The southwestern section of the park’s perimeter loop will also be closed on Nov. 1, 2022. It will remain closed until the park project is finished in spring 2024. During this time a temporary 1,000-foot-long 8-foot-wide soft-surface trail will be built. It will go around the construction zone while still allowing visitors “to enjoy a smaller circuitous tour of the park” according to the city. The temporary trail will also connect to the HGTV Overlook area and link to existing trails unaffected by the construction zone.
With more than 3,000 daily visits to the park on average, city and Lakeshore Park Conservancy officials are asking visitors to be patient during congestion entering or leaving the park. During large events, the Conservancy is planning to hire off-duty police officers to help direct traffic.
Other phase two additions include the construction of four new baseball fields, a new fieldhouse, three new pavilions, a new playground, a park maintenance building, new parking and walkways at the soccer fields, an outdoor seating area for small meetings and gatherings, a large sculptural mound, renovation of the playground and restrooms at the Hecht Pavilion, a new meadow, and improvements to the walking trail in the 42-acre southwest portion of the park.
Lakeshore Park opened in 1995 on 60 acres of leased land at the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute and has grown to include 185 acres. The park is owned by the City of Knoxville and managed by the conservancy.