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City proposing green gateway from I-65

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A widening project for a Greenwood road will include landscaping meant to improve visitors’ first impression of the city.

Greenwood plans to spend $30 million to widen Worthsville Road into a four-lane thoroughfare between a new Interstate 65 interchange and U.S. 31. The city will line the median of the widened street with trees, shrubs and decorative mulch to give visitors a positive impression of Greenwood, community development services director Mark Richards said.

No previous city road projects have included a landscaped median, Richards said. City officials want Worthsville Road to have a more appealing look, because it will be a major gateway into the southern part of the city, he said.

The road project includes a roundabout at Sheek and Worthsville roads and new trails. The city plans to replace an abandoned concrete plant with a trailhead and pond with an island in the center, he said. People would be able to park at that site so they could use the new trails that will run along Worthsville Road.

The city expects to spend about $170,000 on the proposed landscaping, Richards said. The work would be paid for as part of a $20 million road project that will be funded with tax-increment financing district money that’s collected from new development in certain geographic areas and channeled into infrastructure projects.

Overall, the city expects to spend $30 million in local tax dollars to help build the new interchange and to widen the two-lane road.

Dogwoods, magnolias and other varieties of trees would rise out of a raised median along Worthsville Road and also the roundabout, Richards said. Greenwood eventually could plant trees in the median of Worthsville Road west of U.S. 31, when it starts work on that section of the widening project.

The parks and recreation department will be responsible for maintenance on the landscaping. Trees and bushes are expected to be relatively low-maintenance, since they often would be indigenous species that don’t need much water, he said.

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