Jul 3 2021
10:59 am

Redditors on /r/knoxville report the sidewalk under the Henley Bridge has been fenced off. 303 Flats residents are not pleased. I, like many of them, thought that was a public waterfront greenway.

Video of fence under Henley Bridge

bruce's picture

City Mayor just signed instrument changing walkway


you can go to the Register of deeds office and find it. the new plat in on KGIS. i couldn't attach the document the Mayor signed changing the walkway. I would contact her and city council members to see if this is all accuratee

Erin Gill's picture

The Riverwalk greenway is and

The Riverwalk greenway is and will continue to be a public amenity as a condition of the development agreement with the property owner. That same development agreement also requires several additional improvements that are still underway. The City is in regular contact with the property owner to ensure public access is re-opened as soon as possible.

bruce's picture


per page for of the document sigend by the mayor scope of easements

section d

Owner shall not obstruct the public's use of the Public Pedestrian Easement and shall keep the easement area free from any obstacles that will make the area inaccessable.

looks like the city is allowing the owner to violate the easement agreement

bizgrrl's picture

Did not know there was such a

Did not know there was such a walkway. Pretty cool except for it being closed. Wonder why they closed it. Homeless hangout? Too many drunk college students from across Henley? Other.

michael kaplan's picture

likely homeless encampments.

likely homeless encampments. bridge underpasses are being fenced in across the country.

jmcnair's picture

No. There was a separate

No. There was a separate fencing project to close off the non-greenway section under the bridge (as shown in the youtube video).

jmcnair's picture

City says it's temporary

WBIR 10listens has a story.

Story at 10Listens

Rachel's picture

Building owner is obligated

Building owner is obligated under the development agreement to keep the RW public. Bottom line, they can't get away with this. The City is working on it.

jbr's picture

It doesn't look temporary.

It doesn't look temporary.

jbr's picture

The section in question seems

The section in question seems like an area where people would regularly go and sit and view the city lights at night. It is a good example why it should be open to the public.

Waterfronts with continuous public access are much more desirable than those where the public space is interrupted. Even small stretches where the waterfront is unavailable to the public greatly diminish the experience. California's Balboa Island, located off the coast of Newport Beach, makes its entire shoreline accessible to the public instead of giving waterfront property owners sole rights of use.

How to Transform a Waterfront

Local cultural characteristics and functional demands must be abided by in the process of urban waterfront landscape space design in order to realize landmark and regional sense of identity.

Characteristic Waterfront Landscape Space Design

What Makes a Great City? Great Public Spaces. And These 6 Rules

Walking around Alamo Plaza and The San Antonio River Walk

The River Walk Tour in 4K | San Antonio, TX, USA

bizgrrl's picture

From WBIR: "One Riverwalk

From WBIR:

"One Riverwalk Apartment's developer, Riverwalk Investors, LLC, owns the Riverwalk and park areas and responded Tuesday, saying it recognized people are frustrated with the closure and that it shared those frustrations.

The company said it has been unable to transfer ownership of the Riverwalk to the city two years after completing the space, saying it has implored the city to accept ownership and that it had "completed all improvements" -- including additional improvements and maintenance requested by the city.

They also said they told the city about their plans to close the area ahead of time as they continued working to transfer ownership to the City of Knoxville.

They said that after several months of asking city officials to take ownership of the area, they decided to close it off to protect themselves from possible risks from lawsuits and liability associated with having a public space.

Some of the statement is available below:

Unfortunately, we cannot continue to accept the potential liability and litigation risks associated with continuing to allow the general public to utilize the Riverwalk. We notified the city last week of our plans to close the Riverwalk and pledged our cooperation and earnest desire in having the facilities dedicated to the city prior to closure. Unfortunately, we have received little to no communication from the city staff in response.

We are anxious to reinstate access to the public.

The company said it will continue to work on completing the dedication process, which is said lies in the hands of the city at this point."

jbr's picture

Long-range plans for the

Long-range plans for the South Waterfront call for an eventual 3-mile continuous riverwalk and walkable neighborhoods that connect with nearby amenities and downtown.

$700K in sidewalk upgrades coming to South Knoxville Waterfront

Elevator, Key Connection to Join Sections of South Waterfront Riverwalk

jbr's picture

South Knoxville Riverwalk fence removed after months

Officials said that the City of Knoxville signed a $2.5 million deal with a private apartment developer to get rid of the fence, opening it back up for people to enjoy long walks along the Tennessee River.

10Listens: South Knoxville Riverwalk fence removed after months blocking public greenway

jmcnair's picture


I'd've removed it for the low, low price of $1.25M

Must be more to this story...

bizgrrl's picture

Heh. I'll do it for $1.2 M.


I'll do it for $1.2 M.

jbr's picture

In July, Riverwalk Investors

In July, Riverwalk Investors said it has been unable to transfer ownership of the Riverwalk to the city two years after completing the space, saying it has implored the city to accept ownership and that it had "completed all improvements" -- including additional improvements and maintenance requested by the city.

However, the city said some amenities had not been completed, records show. These include an elevator and stairs complex near the Norfolk Southern railroad bridge over the Tennessee River.
In lieu of completing those improvements, the developer agreed to pay the city $2.5 million and remove all fencing no later than the end of the year.

Documents: Deal reached to re-open South Knoxville riverfront walkway

Treehouse's picture


Ooh, so the elevator and stairs are done?!

Up Goose Creek's picture


Not hardly. I think they paid the money to get out of building the elevator, or perhaps dealing with the railroad. I'd heard the railroad was not being co-operative.

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