Pedestrian Bridge Would Connect Gulch, South Broadway - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Pedestrian Bridge Would Connect Gulch, South Broadway

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said a pedestrian bridge connecting the Gulch and South Broadway neighborhoods is necessary for the growth and vibrancy of the downtown area.

Plans have been in place for months for a bridge connecting the area near Cummins Station, just west of the new Music City Center convention hall, with the Gulch. The two areas have been divided by the CSX train tracks.

The plan for the bridge is part of the South of Broadway Strategic Master Plan that was made possible grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The plan includes green space, retail space and flood mitigation.

The bridge would connect two growing part of Music City. Dean said the two areas present big opportunities for Nashville.

"You've got two really dynamic areas – two areas that are not only dynamic right now, but their future growth and their future vibrancy are going to be important to the economy of Nashville," he said.

Metro Public Works confirms the bridge could cost as much as $16 million.

Some residents are worried that money could be better spent in other parts of town.

"In East Nashville we have several streets that really need paving," said resident Ben Kooch.  "They have holes in them. They have truck holes. And they just patch them up and go on and soon the holes are right back."

In August, Dean announced plans for two new parks on the east and west banks of the Cumberland River on the east side of downtown.

The parks would give the public an opportunity for the public to gain access to the river, making it truly the center of Nashville.

Redevelopment of the Thermal site on the west bank would connect with the existing 6.5 acre Riverfront Park. The 12-acre civic park would include an event lawn, an outdoor performance venue, and dog park.

The 1.5 acre green event lawn would be about three and a half times the size of the green at the Public Square.

Additionally, 3.5 acres of green space would include an amphitheater, which could seat 6,500 people - with 2,500 removable seats.

Dean said the new pedestrian bridge - like the riverfront improvements - will keep Nashville growing.

"This area is so dynamic and it is such a significant player in terms of our tax revenue, that it's important that we do all we can to nurture it and to keep it moving. You have to invest in infrastructure. If you're going to have a great city - and we've got a great city – you have to invest in it," said Dean.

Critics have criticized the possible $16 million price tag. Dean said the money has already been budgeted.

"We'll do it as cheaply as we possibly can, but I want it to be attractive. I want it to be a statement about walking, about biking, about being together as one city and I think it will do that," he said.

The official design of the bridge has not been finalized.

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