Latest plans for Tom Lee Park makeover unveiled

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The latest plans for Tom Lee Park’s makeover were unveiled Wednesday afternoon.  

Additions to the park will include hammocks, a misting fountain, a playground and shaded seating areas.  

“You can imagine just sitting in the shade, reading a book, sitting at a table and kind of looking out over the Mississippi River,” said Brad Howe, a designer working with the Memphis River Parks Partnership on the project. 

Perhaps the most dramatic change will come at the south end of the park where a heavily wooded hillside currently sits.  

Plans call for adding a log scramble up the hillside as well as a 220-foot scenic outlook above the river.  

Riverside Drive would remain four lanes but the three pedestrian crossings would become speed tables and there would be speed bumps approaching the tables.  

MRPP would also add 60 parallel parking spots along Riverside and a separate bike path.  

“It’s a separated path with a landscaped strip between Riverside Drive and the path, but adjacent to the parallel parking,” said designer Chris Bennett.  

The park will also gain two pavilions with concession stands.  

All the new amenities will be accessible to the disabled since the MRPP has already begun work on an ADA-compliant path down the bluff leading to the park. 

Construction on the park will begin following Memphis In May and is slated to wrap up in 2023. It will cost $60 million.  

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