As others have noted (see here, here and here), the Buck Karnes (Alcoa Highway) bridge pedestrian lane is open. At 12 feet wide, it offers plenty of room for bike and foot traffic along with some great views of the Tennessee River. This lane is part of a larger plan to connect the Knox and Blount County Greenways.
In order to test it out, your faithful Knoxify reporter started at 6am on the Third Creek Trail by way of the old Bi-Lo parking lot between Sutherland and Kingston. Save for a couple of walkers and 60 or so geese (be careful riding past the mama geese as they like to protect their babies), our ride was fairly uneventful.
To access the new lane, we continued down the Neyland Greenway past the UT Experimental Gardens and the Veterinary School. After crossing the exit ramp, we made a sharp right to ascend to the bridge. (Make sure you stay alert at the corner of the Vet School and the off ramp from Alcoa Highway as currently there are no crosswalk signals.) We stopped on the middle of the bridge to admire the view of the river as morning rush hour traffic whizzed by.
Currently, the trail ends on the south side of the river. However, the next phase of the Knox/Blount Greenway is set to begin soon. I’m looking forward to the day I can write about biking on the greenway from Knoxville to Alcoa to Maryville to Townsend and beyond.