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Radnor Lake State Natural Areas, Friends Group Celebrate 3 New Bridges

Friday, September 24, 2021 | 03:30pm

Radnor Lake State Natural Area and the group Friends of Radnor Lake (FORL) yesterday celebrated the construction of three new bridges on the natural area’s Lake Trail. The $350,000 project is privately funded and sponsored by the Andrea Waitt Carlton Family Foundation, the Røros Foundation, and Ken Levitan and Gloria Dumas.

The opening of the bridges kicks off Radnor Lake’s National Public Lands Day celebration on Saturday, Sept. 25. The current bridge, built in the 1990s, which connects the east end of the Lake Trail with Otter Creek Road, will be removed with the assistance of volunteers working with the park staff. 

“We thank the Friends of Radnor Lake, and these bridges will play an important role in the enjoyment of this natural area,” Commissioner David Salyers of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), said. “This project shows the value of a great partnership.” 

“Friends of Radnor Lake is proud to be celebrating the opening of the three new Lake Trail bridges, a capital project that was made possible as a result of our wonderful donors, years of planning with a focus on our visitors with special needs and our strong partnership with the State of Tennessee,” Will Robinson, board president of Friends of Radnor Lake, said. “By removing the old bridge and replacing it with the new ones we have helped preserve a wetland area while also bringing accessibility to everyone to the popular Lake Trail. We hope these will make our 2-plus million visitors’ experiences in the natural area even more enjoyable!”

“We know what Radnor Lake means to many Tennesseans, and these bridges will enhance that experience,” Roger McCoy, director of the Division of Natural Areas at TDEC, said. “With groups like the Friends of Radnor Lake, our natural areas can be what we all want them to be. We are grateful for this contribution.” 

The bridges were built sustainably and with mostly recycled materials as part of Radnor Lake's "Go Green" sustainability efforts. The construction used wood from retired utility poles and Trex decking, a long-lasting material that is made of 95 percent recycled materials and does not require annual sealant application. 

The project will protect wildlife populations, improve water quality and provide hikers with ample opportunity for unique wildlife viewing. The contractor on the project is Baron Construction. The designer is Harber Architecture, and the project is managed by R. Chris Magill Consulting.