MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Outdoor enthusiasts can bike or hike across a new bridge in East Memphis.
Tuesday morning, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the recent opening of the Wolf River Crossing, a bridge that connects the Greenway to the Shelby Farms Greenline.
“We’re beginning to see these critical connections, so this section here connects to the Shelby Farms Greenline and we’re seeing unprecedented usage because of that intersection,” said Kelsey Hamilton Gibbs with the Wolf River Conservancy. “Because of that intersection, now people can go on the Greenway via the Greenline, go to Shelby Farms Park if you want to continue eastward out to Germantown, Collierville. So, really speaking towards the connectivity, and once this project is complete, we have the opportunity to bike, run, walk all the way from downtown Memphis out to Germantown on this trail.”
The 270-foot-long bridge and a half-mile boardwalk can be accessed to the West of Walnut Grove on North Humphries Boulevard. It opened in the fall of 2021, but due to COVID restrictions, a public dedication was postponed until Tuesday. City of Memphis and Shelby County leaders, along with those from the conservancy, talked about the progress of their efforts to create better outdoor accommodations in the area.
“It’s great to have all different kinds of amenities for the different folks that live in Memphis,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “I do think with parks and outdoor recreation we do have a lot of momentum in Memphis and in Shelby County.”
“It’s beautiful, and obviously the work that has gone into this particular segment has been extraordinary,” added Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “There are terrific things going on in Memphis from music to food to the Grizz, but also now our commitment to our shared environment and our connection to the great outdoors. I think this is a great opportunity for us to get together and to get outdoors with our neighbors and our loved ones.”
The bridge is part of a $62 million project aiming to connect 26 miles of trails along the Wolf River in Memphis and Shelby County. The bridge opens 14 miles of connected trails, signifying more than fifty percent completion. It’s an effort those who’ve used the bridge can’t wait to see completed.
“It’s awesome,” said Will Collins, a member of the Trail Trippers Running club. “It connects everything and you have a nice smooth run or bike ride or walk.”
“We’re really happy to have this to link us to the Greenline,” added Carole Coles, a cyclist with the Wolf River Biker Babes. “This is a nice way to come and explore nature, get our bike rides in, and our walks. And it’s just a beautiful thing that they are stewarding the lands for future generations to enjoy.”
The Wolf River Greenway is a private-public partnership between City of Memphis Parks, Shelby County, and the Wolf River Conservancy. The Conservancy is still raising money to complete and connect the Wolf River Greenway within the city of Memphis. To date, the Conservancy has raised over $52 million through public and private sources. The goal of the campaign is to raise $62 million to complete the balance of the project. You can visit wolfriver.org to donate.
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