MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Construction has begun on the Hampline--a long-awaited connection between Shelby Farms Park and Overton Park.
The Hampline will run through Binghampton, connecting the Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park.
The project was partially crowd-sourced. A group of more than 700 Memphians raised $75,000 of the $2 million needed for construction.
Thursday, construction began on the project, which will include the city's first bike signals and dual direction pathways leading into Overton Park at the Bike Arch.
Construction is expected to last nine months.
The Hampline construction is already ahead of schedule.
With a projected start date of Thursday, Bike Ped Memphis reported on Twitter that construction got underway on Wednesday.
But it's far from the project's first step.
“The Hampline is nearly nine years in the making now,” said Nicholas Oyler, Bikeway and Pedestrian Manager for City of Memphis.
The project will extend the Shelby Farms Greenline to Overton Park.
The two-mile pedestrian and bicycle corridor will run through Binghampton and, where construction is going on right now, The Broad Avenue Arts District.
“So it's really just creating a safer street for walking and biking,” Oyler said.
Right now, construction is happening right outside The Light Bulb Depot's front doors. Owners here say it should be business as usual.
But if customers are disrupted by the construction, owners at the Light Bulb Depot have some ideas.
“We do offer free delivery, so they can always pick up the phone and we'll get the material out,” said Joseph Osbourne. “We also have access to the back of our building.”
Business owners on Broad Avenue say city officials have been by as construction starts. They say they've been told crews will be directing traffic to make sure there is access to all businesses.
“Me personally I'm just worried about parking,” said Joy Moore, owner of The Bead Couture. “Just how far customers have to walk, but it's all in the name of progress.”
Customers will need some patience, but store owners say it will all be worth it.
“I've seen the renderings of the bike path and the median they'll put in and it's beautiful,” Moore said.
“It’s great they’re investing some time and needed resources in this area,” Osbourne said.