CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Mayor Andy Berke joined other city officials Wednesday to give a preview of the new and improved Miller Park in downtown Chattanooga. The city expects the park to open in mid-July, barring any weather delays.
However, Chattanooga Department of Transportation plans to reopen the closed section of M.L. King Boulevard on Wednesday, March 21. This will coincide with the completion of Phase I of the boulevard’s renovations, opening up the road from Market to Lindsay streets.
The Miller Park facelift is costing about 10-point-3 million dollars. Private investors like BlueCross and EPB are funding 60 percent of the price tag.
Mayor Berke says this is one more step forward in the revitalization of the city.
“Chattanooga is a place where we’ve done things big. Look at our waterfront, look at the things we’ve done over the course of the last couple decades. We tell a new story by doing big things, and it’s not just about the places but it’s about the people,” Mayor Berke said.
And the people we spoke with are excited about the new outdoors space.
“I think it will be a great atmosphere, great place to hang out. It will be fun,” said Anna Burch, who works near the park.
“I’m going going over there to eat. I’m gonna sit over there and eat, like I’m doing now. I’m excited,” Bobby Wood said.
It’s estimated that 40,000 people pass by the park each day, whether on foot or on wheels. And the city expects the new park to generate revenue for new projects all over the area.
“The growth that we have downtown is supplementing our tax base and growing that,” Mayor Berke said. “And we can use those funds to do projects in neighborhoods. So that it’s not just about downtown, but it’s about building out the whole city.”
Mayor Berke says the new park will be a place for tourists and residents to enjoy together.
“Liveable cities are lovable. And we know that miller park is a big piece of that.”
Travelers should also prepare for delays on Georgia Avenue. The city will close one block of the avenue — between M.L. King Boulevard and Patten Parkway — right by the Volunteer building to do some underground work.