Nashville Plans $15M “Iconic” Pedestrian Bridge

The $15M bicycle/pedestrian bridge is planned to connect the Gulch with the area south of Broadway starting in 2015. (Credit Metro Public Works)

The $15M bicycle/pedestrian bridge is planned to connect the Gulch with the area south of Broadway starting in 2015. (Credit Metro Public Works)

Nashville officially unveiled renderings Wednesday night for a roughly $15 million pedestrian and bike bridge to connect a couple downtown neighborhoods.  It’s meant to link the area by Lower Broadway with its neighbor the Gulch, just across the railroad tracks.

It’s nearly as much sculpture as bridge, with a curving path, and cables to a leaning tower on one side some 200 feet tall.  Officials with Metro Public Works throw around words like “iconic” and “destination.”  But engineering project manager Jonathan Cleghon says it’s not just a $14 to $16 million art project.

Cleghon says it’s needed, because the area is getting crowded.

“The number of residents that we have down there now has just grown tremendously.  The business growth continues.  If you just drive around downtown and look at the cranes, and the amount of growth that’s going on, I think you can better understand the importance of moving people between these two neighborhoods.”

Funding for the project was included in a budget that already passed.  Officials hope to start construction early next year, and finish in 2015.

Cleghon says while the project (more info and visuals here) is funded in Metro’s current budget, it will still have to go before Metro Council members, “in order to get the easements we need.”  For comparison, Nashville’s pedestrian and bike bridge in Shelby Bottoms reportedly cost some $8.5 million.

Connecting the two neighborhoods means several hundred feet across a railroad yard. (Credit Metro Public Works)

Connecting the two neighborhoods means several hundred feet across a railroad yard. (Credit Metro Public Works)

View from 10th Ave. S. Image credit: Metro Public Works

View from 10th Ave. S. Image credit: Metro Public Works

View from Pine Street. Image credit: Metro Public Works

View from Pine Street. Image credit: Metro Public Works

These train tracks are the obstacle the new bridge is designed to cross:

Currently, in order for Gulch residents to get to SoBro, they have to backtrack away from downtown to 12th Ave and take it to the Demonbreun Street Bridge. The new bridge will go on the far side of Cummins Station (red brick building on the left) and cross over to Pine Street (where there's a gap between the loft buildings on the right). Credit: WPLN/Rob Gordon

Currently, in order for Gulch residents to get to SoBro, they have to backtrack away from downtown to 12th Ave and take it to the Demonbreun Street Bridge. The new bridge will go on the far side of Cummins Station (red brick building on the left) and cross over to Pine Street (where there’s a gap between the loft buildings on the right). Credit: WPLN/Rob Gordon

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