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