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Crew preps to pep up Pepper Branch
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Pictured is an overview of the work at Pepper Branch Park.
Pepper Branch work.jpg
TWRA representative Glenn Brown talks about upgrades taking place to install concrete boat launches at Pepper Branch Park while Daniel Smith operates a backhoe.

Improvement work is afloat at Pepper Branch Park.

A TWRA crew is onsite at the popular city park getting groundwork done in preparation for a concrete driveway and three launch ramps for boats.

The work is thanks to a $75,000 Tourism Enhancement Grant from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development. Work is supposed to be complete by April 14.

“We’re going to have to hustle to get it all done by that deadline,” said TWRA representative Glenn Brown. “We’ll have another crew here with us next week and that will really help out.”

A concrete driveway will be poured leading from the upper gravel parking lots down to the boat launch area. There will also be a 38-foot concrete sidewalk leading down to the water. The concrete sidewalk will make the recreation area handicap accessible.

The park is a common flood zone during heavy rain. Brown said the concrete will hold up pretty well in high water, but that even concrete can get washed away if there’s a strong enough current.

“You want to get rip rap in front of it if you can to keep the heavy current off it,” said Brown. “You want to keep the water from getting under the concrete.”

TDOT barriers to the launch area are in place while work is being done to keep out vehicle traffic, but kayakers can still park in one of the upper parking lots and walk their boat down to the river.