KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The first phase of the Magnolia Avenue Streetscapes Project is nearly done, with the city opening part of the improvements Thursday.
The city showcased the $7 million improvements near the intersection of Gibbons Street and Magnolia Avenue.
The overall Magnolia Avenue Corridor Plan has been in development since its inception in May 2009 with the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission. Several public meetings and open houses contributed to this result 10 years down the road — with part of the plan completed.
The project adds left-turn lanes, wider sidewalks, bike lanes and safer marked crosswalks with pedestrian signs.
City leaders say the project makes the area safer for pedestrians — while also bringing a needed reinvestment to the area.
“Green is the new gray, you had a five lane corridor that was wide open, we have now enhanced that with some landscaping, with vegetative medians and tree line streets… trash receptacles and benches to enhance it as it goes through the urban neighborhood of East Knoxville,” said the city’s redevelopment director, Dawn Michelle Foster.
The next phase of the project with go toward Cherry Street – with the aim to replace the existing sidewalks and curb, and reconstruct the roadway as needed along East Magnolia Avenue between North Myrtle Street and North Bertrand Street to provide for better pedestrian access while allowing for street amenities such as trees, lighting and more.
The city is working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to make improvement eastward, with the anticipated completion date sometime next year.
MORE ONLINE | View the city’s plans here
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