Gulch-SoBro bridge design looking for input this week

(Courtesy: Nashville.gov)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – If you want to be heard on the design of the proposed $18 million bridge connecting two busy downtown Nashville neighborhoods, one of your last chances may be Wednesday evening.

The project was first proposed by then Mayor Karl Dean in 2013 for a 600 to 700 foot pedestrian and bike bridge that would wind over the CSX rail tracks that separate the popular Gulch area with SoBro that’s been re-invigorated by the Music City Center and several adjacent hotels now under construction.

RELATED: Metro Council gets a look at bridge designed for SoBro

Since then, it’s once dramatic design featuring an eye-catching support tower with suspensions has been scaled back to a more traditional looking bridge that would go straight across from Pine Street in the Gulch to a landing area in a current parking lot next to south end of the retail building Cummins Station in SoBro.

(Courtesy: Nashville.gov)
(Courtesy: Nashville.gov)

Since the project was announced, money was approved for it in the Metro Council’s capital building project, but some now are questioning the need for the project.

Metro Council Budget and Finance Chair John Cooper was one of the only members voting against the proposal when it came up again last fall.

He listed a variety of concerns to News 2 including the eventual cost and approval from CSX, which might be needed for the project to go through.

Residents in the Gulch area seemed indifferent to the idea where a few years ago, many seemed in favor of it.

The Demonbreun Street Bridge, which is a longer walk connecting the Gulch and SoBro neighborhoods, is heavily used now, where it was not as much a few years back.

One reason may be a large private set of stairs that go from 11th Avenue in the heart of the Gulch up to the Demonbreun Street Bridge cuts of some of that distance,

And with more people using the Demonbreun Street Bridge and with the increased downtown population, original safety concerns from some of the pedestrians seem to be easing.

The public can attend a meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Metro Office Building to discuss the bridge.