Background

Located under the bridge that carries the James White Parkway across the Tennessee River, Governor Ned McWherter Park has a host of amenities including outdoor picnic tables, fishing, and two boat ramps for use of all types of watercraft.

River usage by both powered and un-powered water craft continues to increase adding demand to the public blueway access points. With extensive parking (approximately 50 spaces with about 20 accommodating boat trailers) and the Knoxville Rowing Association’s boat storage, the Ned McWherter site is one of the most heavily utilized of these river accesses.

Project Description

Funded primarily through a grant from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the Ned McWherter Park Boat Ramp Expansion expands and improves the existing facilities providing better access to the Tennessee River:

  1. New Ramp—A third boat ramp will be added upstream of the existing two.

  2. New Ramp Access Dock—A new access dock will be added upstream of the new ramp. Access docks provide both a tie-off point for solo boaters and a point to load or unload boat passengers before loading or after unloading a boat from a trailer.

  3. Accessible Route and Parking—An accessible route constructed and delineated providing an ADA-compliant connection between the new ramp’s access dock and a new ADA-compliant parking space sized for a vehicle with a trailer. In addition to supporting accessibility, the new access route also provides a designated space for pedestrians moving between the access ramp and the remainder of the park.

  4. Lighting—Existing parking lot lighting will be augmented to ensure proper illumination of the increased ramp area and new accessible parking.