New fence blocking the riverwalk under Chapman Highway upsets residents

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Some people are upset that the South Knoxville riverwalk is now fenced off under the Henley Bridge. This means walkers and cyclists now have to re-route and cross Chapman Highway instead of taking advantage of the sidewalk.

WATE 6 On Your Side spoke with a cyclist on Tuesday who had to re-think his route when he saw the fence for the first time.

Tom McClain says, “I was shocked. I haven’t been here in I don’t know a month or so and I was really disappointed to see this fence. It seems like a big mistake. The city has talked about making this a more walkable area and this was a good part of it. You could get from the west side of Chapman Highway to Gay Street without getting on the street at all. It was safe. It was a good way to get across Chapman Highway.”

Riverwalk Apartments says it does not own the nearby riverwalk. It’s owned by the land’s developer, Riverwalk Investors. In a statement, the company says it stopped allowing members of the community to use the riverwalk because they say they cannot, “accept the potential liability and litigation risks.” They also say it has been trying to get the city of Knoxville to take ownership of the riverwalk, but it has hit some bumps in the road. Below is the full statement from Riverwalk Investors:

The city of Knoxville says, “There are some required improvements in the area that are part of the development agreement that the property owner entered with the city. We have been in regular communication with the property owner to ensure these required improvements are completed before this important public amenity is transferred to the city. We are working to resolve the remaining requirements and restore access to the greenway as soon as possible.”

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