1. What is the Three Mile Creek Greenway Trail?
The Greenway Trail will be a linear park system that spans a seven-mile portion of Three Mile Creek, extending eastward from Langan Park to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Avenue. The development of the Greenway will include a system of trails, trailheads, sidewalks, and bike lanes to provide non-motorized transportation options to Mobile’s residents. The Greenway trails will be accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability, and provide opportunities to socialize, walk, run, play, learn, and enjoy the outdoors. It will connect forest, parks, and neighborhoods in a cohesive greenway system to be enjoyed by trail users while supporting the healthy ecology of Three Mile Creek. Three Mile Creek stretches approximately twelve miles from west of the University of South Alabama, eastward through Langan Park into the Mobile River, passing through many of Mobile’s historic neighborhoods throughout the trail.
2. What is the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan?
In 2014, the Three Mile Creek Watershed Management Plan was developed and released by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program. Its development brought a robust team of partners together, including municipalities, state agencies, utilities, non-profits, and citizens. In 2015, it was endorsed by the Mobile City Council. The Plan “sets forth a course for action for transforming a degraded community liability into a waterway destination.” The watershed is shared by five of seven Mobile City Council Districts and portions of the City of Prichard, and connects and drains neighborhoods from Cody Road to downtown. Objectives developed include restoration of natural channels and riparian buffers, pollution control and water quality standards initiatives, maintaining flood protection properties, identifying educational opportunities, and designing and implementing a trail project. The current Three Mile Creek Trail initiative is delivering one of those objectives.
3. Who is involved in the Greenway Trail process?
The Greenway Trail is being implemented by a cross-functional team within City of Mobile, which includes planners, scientists, engineers, landscape architects and construction experts. A variety of citizens, local non-profits, businesses and other City leadership support the project in planning, outreach and the project execution process. In addition, the City of Mobile has a variety of contractors with expertise in different phases of the project supporting them. Dix-Hite, a landscape architecture firm, has been collaborating on the design phase of the project since 2018.
4. What facilities are planned as part of these projects?
The initial trail project will include a paved multi-use trail, improved amenities at existing parks and along the Trail like bathrooms, pavilions, benches, and parking. A new trailhead will be created at MLK Boulevard with parking and bathrooms. The first phase of the trail will begin east of I-65 on the south side of the Creek at Bush Park and continue to Mill Street Park, cross over the Creek via a new pedestrian bridge, and continue on the north side just south of University Hospital (USA Medical Center) through Tricentennial Park to MLK Boulevard. Road crossings will be upgraded for safety of pedestrians and people on bikes.
5. Where in the process are we? (How long will the process take?)
We are currently completing the design plans with our contractors, which includes feedback from the citizens, neighbors and businesses collected at community meetings. The design and construction places will be completed at the end of October, and the next construction phase from the existing trail to University Hospital will be released for bids at that time. Information will be released on www.mapformobile.org/threemilecreek.
6. How is the Greenway Trail being funded? (initially and long-term?)
In July 2012, the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. The RESTORE Act dedicates 80 percent of all administrative and civil penalties related to the Deepwater Horizon spill to a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and outlines a structure by which the funds can be utilized to restore and protect the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast region. The design and initial construction of the Trail project is one of the Alabama projects funded by the RESTORE Act Bucket 1 allocations, which are specifically for these types of projects. Additional funding has come from AL Department of Transportation, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the City of Mobile Capital Improvement Fund.
7. How will the trail system be maintained?
The Trail will be maintained by the City of Mobile and citizen groups.
8. How will concerns about safety be addressed?
Public safety associated with the trail is a primary initiative for the City of Mobile. Together with the Mobile Police Department and Mobile Fire-Rescue, we are creating a comprehensive Three Mile Creek Greenway Trail Safety Plan for the trail, including non-motorized patrols, networked cameras, call boxes, and lighting. This plan will result in a safe and controlled Trail for our entire community.
9. Will all existing parks around the Creek be connected to the trail?
Yes, the Trail is a connective thread across many city parks, with the first phase crossing Bush Park, Mill Street Park, Tricentennial Park, and ending at the new MLK Boulevard Trailhead. Programming and educational opportunities are being designed with community partners and the City of Mobile Parks and Rec Department for our community.
10. Is the trail built on public land only?
Yes, the trail is built on City owned property or where we have sought easements from landowners.
11. Where can I learn more? Sign up for our email list at http://www.mapformobile.org, and we’ll keep you updated on upcoming meetings and major announcements.