A new Division Street bridge has opened on the southwest corner of downtown Nashville. The new four-lane bridge is equipped with bike lanes and a sidewalk.
The bridge was built to connect 8th Avenue South to 2nd Avenue South, effectively connecting the Gulch and SoBro areas. It stretches about half a mile past 6th Avenue and the Greyhound Bus Station.
Many drivers NewsChannel 5 spoke with said the new roadway would decrease their commute time.
While cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers may benefit, local business owners said the new connector has eliminated parking spaces that were vital for their survival.
The owner of Pour House, David Purcell, said they are now fighting an uphill battle to stay open.
"It's impacted our revenue from opening over 50 percent. [It’s] somewhere between a 50 and 60 percent downturn in our revenue,” he said.
He hoped business picks back up now that the majority of construction has ended.
"I would say it's fairly devastating. It impacts everything. Your ability to make improvements, your ability to maintain the building, your ability to maintain and retain employees… there's a broad based impact," said Purcell.
Peter Bird, an avid cyclist, said he will take advantage of the connector and ride his bike to work.
"It's real nice having the actual dedicated space on the sidewalk here. You don't have as many conflicts with cars and intersections. We're going to have specific crossings in there. I guess it really removes the fear of being in mixed traffic with vehicles," said Bird.
According to the Metro Nashville website, the project cost taxpayers nearly $25 million.