Gresham Smith Helps City of Knoxville Secure Major Federal Transportation Grant

Major Grant Expected to be Largest in City of Knoxville’s History

Gresham Smith is excited to announce that it provided a benefit-cost analysis that helped the City of Knoxville and Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) secure a $42.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement a civic infrastructure plan intended to begin the restoration of cultural and economic opportunity to communities impacted by urban renewal.

The $85.6 million project will create nearly 10 miles of connectivity improvements to link East Knoxville residents to economic, cultural and recreational amenities. The federal grant covers approximately half of the project’s costs, while the rest of the funding comes from state and local sources.

It’s the largest federal grant award in Knoxville’s history, and it comes from the U.S. DOT’s Neighborhood Access and Equity Program that sets aside money to reconnect formerly displaced communities, improve access to daily needs and foster equitable development and restoration. The specific grant will significantly expand the greenway system to link East Knoxville, Morningside Park and the Old City to the Urban Wilderness, Baker Creek Preserve and neighborhoods of South Knoxville that were separated by past infrastructure projects, including the James White Parkway, that affected predominantly Black neighborhoods in downtown and East Knoxville.

“We are proud to have assisted the City of Knoxville and KCDC secure this much-needed funding that will really reconnect East Knoxville residents access with the rest of the city,” said Jason Brady, P.E., East Tennessee area transportation leader at Gresham Smith. “With this federal grant, the City will be able to take on a number of projects, including a new cultural corridor with historic landmarks and significant expansions to Knoxville’s greenway system.”