Metro applies for federal grant to help redesign East Bank project, including potential new bridge

Proposed East Bank bridge
Posted at 5:25 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 22:47:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new bridge over the Cumberland River could someday route traffic right to the East Bank.

According to a new federal grant request, the city is interested in studying how a $100 million bridge could improve local traffic flow.

During Metro Council on Tuesday night, members approved the measure with five abstentions.

"It creates other opportunities to get in and out," said Brett Withers, councilmember for District 6. "Sometimes when you have a Titans game, which we have for more than 20 years, there are portions of the game when the roads are closed. So the more options we can give people, the better the whole area will function."

Last Thursday, the director of the Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure applied for a $5 million federal infrastructure grant. The RAISE or Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equality grant would help pay to plan and design a new north-south corridor on the East Bank and study the impact of a new bridge.

"Getting all those pieces right is important, not just for the developments themselves, but for creating a more cohesive network for the whole city to use," Withers said.

Preliminary plans for a bridge show it anchored at the intersection of South 5th and Crutcher streets and on the opposite bank at Willow Street.

According to Withers, I-24 in that area can't handle any more traffic.

"The interstate primarily serves people who are going across country. I mean it also serves us, but it also serves people going across country, and with the interstate loop system — we know it is very congested. It was designed in the sixties. It was never designed for the amount of traffic it carries today," Withers said.

Metro Council will hear about the grant application at Tuesday night's meeting.

Oracle has already committed to paying for a pedestrian bridge which would connect their future development to Germantown.