New, inviting Greenway Trail extension almost completed

THOMAS DEAN STEWART | The Sun

The newest addition to Paducah's Greenway Trail extends from Campbell Street, located near the Schroeder Expo Center, to Schultz Park along the riverfront. Phase 4 of the Greenway's development includes adding more than 1,000 feet of sidewalk, lighting and other features.

The Greenway Trail's newest phase is nearing completion in downtown Paducah.

Phase 4 extends the existing trail from Campbell Street, located near the Schroeder Expo Center, to the Schultz Park area near the Paducah riverfront. It's part of an ongoing multi-phase project to develop and expand the Greenway, a popular amenity for local pedestrians, runners and cyclists.

The project is "98, 99% complete," reported city engineer and public works director Rick Murphy, who said there were some weather and back-order delays. Aside from extending the trail, Phase 4 also involved adding more than 1,000 feet of sidewalk, lighting and other features.

"The project itself completed the sidewalks that were unfinished from the riverfront park development because we ran out of money, so we actually used some of the Greenway Trail Phase 4 money to help us complete that portion," he said.

Murphy said the only thing that's left is adding seven light poles that are on back order.

Phase 4's cost is an estimated $650,000 -- including $500,000 in federal grant funding through the Transportation Alternatives Program and $150,000 in matching funds, Murphy said.

Youngblood Excavating and Contracting is the project contractor.

"The whole project is so exciting because Campbell Street -- it looked like that 'I just need to turn around. I'm at the end of the Greenway Trail,'" city spokeswoman Pam Spencer said. "And that's what it was visually, it was a terminus.

"Now, it's inviting you to downtown, and it's giving you a way to get downtown and maneuver around the convention center, then actually get to the riverfront."

Phase 4 may not be completely finished yet, but Murphy is "excited" to have it done.

Murphy noted that some mitigation-related work will be needed in the riverfront park area due to damage from 2018 and 2019 floods. He hopes for a spring start on the Greenway Phase 5 project, which involves connecting the trail to Jefferson Street from the riverfront area, along with improvements for Schultz Park.

Mayor Brandi Harless thanked leaders who had the foresight to develop the trail, adding that she's glad Phase 4 is getting finished and looks forward to seeing what Phase 5 will look like.

"We talk about how to grow our community, and we talk about quality of life and how to recruit people to live in our community. Having access to things like a Greenway Trail, (where) people can be outside and active, is definitely something that's appealing to a lot of generations," she said.

"I think it's important that we continue projects like this in the city."

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