Metro Unveils Revised Plan For Gulch Pedestrian Bridge - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Metro Unveils Revised Plan For Gulch Pedestrian Bridge

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro Public Works has unveiled a revised plan for a $16 million pedestrian/bicycle bridge that will span railroad tracks between The Gulch and SoBro areas of downtown Nashville.

The bridge will run from 10th Avenue and Lea Street in the SoBro area, to Pine Street in The Gulch.

"This will provide a real connection for people to walk, and bicycle, between the two neighborhoods," said Jonathan Cleghon from Metro Public Works.

The original plan called for two towers, with cables in between. Because residents were concerned the second tower would block their view, Metro decided to change the design.

The new bridge design will still accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists on a 700 foot span, which will be 30 feet wide. But now the cable-stayed structure will have only have one 200 foot tower on the SoBro side of the span.

"It's an iconic structure. We expect this to be a place, a destination for people, somewhere they can go and enjoy the bridge itself," Cleghon explained.

The Gulch-SoBro bridge was a recommendation that came from the 2013 SoBro Strategic Master Plan that was released in January. City leaders deemed the project important because of the rapid growth of the two neighborhoods.

Wednesday night Metro Public Works held a presentation at Music City Center to give the public a chance to see renderings of the new bridge design.

"It is really beautiful," said resident Mel Bond. "It's going to be a real attraction to SoBro and the Gulch."

Representatives from Public Works explained how the bridge will be a linear park, with landscaping and seating.

The plan got mostly positive reviews from people who attended the meeting. Several people did have concerns of how pedestrians and bicyclists will co-exist on the 30 foot wide bridge deck.

"In order to put bicycles and pedestrians first, you have to think about them way before we've started to think about them now, so now we're kind of trying to wedge them in when they should have been thought about long ago," said Austin Bauman.

The money to fund the project has already been approved and is part of Metro's budget. A few people did question spending so much money on a pedestrian bridge.

"That seems like an awful lot of money. There are a lot of things we can do with $15 million that might even get us to this same spot, without working on this particular bridge," Teri Barer said.

Metro Public Works will continue to accept public input on the project, and conduct with more intensive engineering studies on the bridge in the coming weeks. Construction is expected to begin in June or July. The bridge should be completed in September of 2015.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
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