According to Mayor John Cooper,$17.95M from the stalled SoBro-Gulch Pedestrian Bridge project, allocated by the Metro Council in the FY2014 Capital Spending Fund, will be immediately diverted towards neighborhood infrastructure projects throughout Nashville and Davidson County.
“The quality of our neighborhoods is measured, in large part, by the quality and safety of our roads and bridges,” said Mayor Cooper. “When $18 million for the SoBro-Gulch Pedestrian Bridge was allocated in 2013, that amount represented 100% of the funding for bridge repair and construction for the entire 2014 fiscal year. Currently, Public Works estimates that $131 million is needed to repair and replace our bridges and culverts. Now is the time for responsible spending to address our most critical infrastructure needs and focus on the safety and priorities that impact all of Nashville’s neighborhoods.”
Of the $18M allocation in the 2014 Capital Spending Plan, $17.95M remains unspent and will be diverted to the following projects accordingly:
- $13.63 million of the $17.95 million will immediately go to shovel-ready bridge and culvert projects, ranked in order of urgency by Metro Public Works, in 24 different Council districts. 52 separate projects will receive funding;
- $660,000 will go towards replacing the Shelby Bottoms Greenway Pedestrian Bridge, which has been closed due to structural damage;
- $1,500,000 for traffic calming, which represents 100% of the traffic calming allocation in the 2018-19 Capital Spending Plan;
- $750,000 for bikeways, which represents 50% of the bikeways allocation in the 2018-19 Capital Spending Plan;
- $500,000 for new trash and recycling containers, an urgent need highlighted by Metro Public Works;
- $410,000 for emergency roadway work, which will allow Metro Public Works to quickly address needs as they arise; and
- $500,000 for street lighting maintenance, repair, and replacement
Community stakeholders impacted by the diversion of the pedestrian bridge funds have been notified, and both Metro Public Works and Metro Parks are aware that the funds will be made available for infrastructure projects to begin immediately.
“We need a long-term solution for connectivity in the Gulch and throughout our neighborhoods,” said Cooper. “Bikeways and walkways certainly help advance our connectivity goals, and there may be a time when we revisit the concept of a Gulch pedestrian bridge. But this reallocation of funds allows us to get to work on shovel-ready projects throughout our neighborhoods with residents’ safety and critical infrastructure priorities in mind.”