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Metro Council members frustrated over pace of infrastructure projects

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Posted at 8:18 PM, Oct 05, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On Bowling Avenue, there's not a lot of room on the edge of the road. There are parts with sidewalks and parts without.

The people who live there like to walk. Sometimes, it's along the public right-of-way, which is basically a ditch.

There were plans approved to create a sidewalk years ago. But they still haven't happened.

Councilmember Kathleen Murphy, who represents this district, said it's frustrating for her and the people that live there.

"We see this all across the county," said Murphy. "A lot of sidewalk projects take years to do because of utility coordination, different consultants, different contracts. At the end of the day, if the department of transportation was supposed to streamline all of this, I don't know why it hasn't yet."

Talks in the city about the road first began in 2017. Now, Murphy said she doesn't know a start date for the work and doesn't know what to tell constituents.

It's a problem that's not unique to this area either.

Councilmember Colby Sledge also has noticed a project years in delays on 12th Avenue S.

It's a project where hundreds of trees were supposed to be planted crosswalks were supposed to be updated and made safer, and protected bike lanes were supposed to be added.

Sledge isn't holding back either. He said it's all on Nashville's Department of Transportation.

"Unfortunately, we deal with personnel problems where time and again projects die on desks for no reason whatever. We have the funding for it, council approves it, but for some reason, they don't get done," said Sledge.

He says the jobs may be hard, but the taxpayers are relying on city departments to make it happen.

The department released this statement in response:

At any given time, NDOT is working on dozens of right-of-way projects, and we know each one is important to residents and council members. Our goal is to always deliver projects on time, but more importantly, our goal is to always communicate with council members when project schedules change due to any number of factors—weather, utility coordination, right-of-way acquisition. We know schedule delays are frustrating, but feel transparency is key to maintaining strong relationships with the community.
Nashville Department of Transportation