MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When completed the Wolf River Greenway will stretch 26 miles from Downtown Memphis to Germantown. It's nearly halfway complete.
"We are connecting 22 diverse neighborhoods in our city and we’re excited to say that we have 12 miles open to date," Wolf River Conservancy Chief Development Officer Kelsey Hamilton-Gibbs said.
One phase currently underway by the conservancy includes the project's biggest undertaking yet: a 270-foot steel suspension bridge over the Wolf River in East Memphis. The work also includes a raised boardwalk that goes through the Lucius Burch State Natural Area.
That addition will also connect to Shelby Farms Greenline.
“It really is such a scenic and gorgeous view and again that pivotal connection to the Shelby Farms Greenline that’s long-awaited," Hamilton-Gibbs said.
That piece, Hamilton-Gibbs said, is expected to be completed in the coming months.
The project is a public/private partnership between the Wolf River Conservancy, City of Memphis Parks and Neighborhoods Division, and Shelby County.
It's budgeted to cost $66 million. So far, 20 of the 26 miles are covered.
"We’re looking at being able to finish this project within three years should we be able to get the funding to fully connect the project," Hamilton-Gibbs said.
Two more construction areas of the Greenway are currently under construction at both McClean St. in North Memphis and Eppling Way in Raleigh.
Which is good news for the growing number of nature and fitness lovers utilizing the Greenway and Wolf River.
“We’ve seen unprecedented usage on our Wolf River Greenway and our Wolf River," Hamilton-Gibbs said. "50% more usage in 2020 than what we did in 2019 and I’m sure our 2021 numbers will speak to that as well.”
Now through October, the Greenway will host more than 100 free programs from fitness classes, kayaking to nature walks.
Check out a calendar of events here.