Funding secured for Gibbs pedestrian bridge

Sandra ClarkGibbs/Corryton, Our Town Neighbors

The signature project of the Gibbs High School Foundation has been funded at almost $2 million and a pedestrian bridge will be built across Tazewell Pike to connect the campuses of Gibbs High and Gibbs Elementary schools. Earlier stories here and here.

State Sen. Becky Massey notified leaders of the Foundation about the funding. Requested by Knox County, the bridge was funded through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) program for $1,938,344.

Gibbs school (now the high school) sits on the east side of Tazewell Pike (SR 131). An elementary and then a middle school were built directly across the street on the west side of SR 131.

According to TDOT, the proposed bridge will connect to the existing sidewalk on the west side of Tazewell Pike and include a short (approximately 160 feet) segment of new sidewalk from the Tazewell Pike sidewalk to the Gibbs Elementary School. A future phase will consist of a new sidewalk and boardwalk from the elementary school and proposed bridge to the middle school (approximately 1,515 feet) to provide a more direct pedestrian connection between all three campuses.

Eastern Terminus: The bridge’s eastern ramp will tie into the existing sidewalk along the front of the high school building. A short connection between the existing sidewalk will be extended 150 feet to the south side of the building, where buses currently drop off and pick up students. Sketches: Gibbs Pedestrian Bridge Project Maps 5 and Gibbs Pedestrian Bridge Project Maps 6

The project will include earthwork and grading (specifically on the west side of Tazewell Pike, to construct the bridge abutments and ADA-compliant ramps), construction of the bridge, and the construction of the sidewalk segments on the elementary and high school campuses (Figure 4). A field survey will determine the need for the potential relocation of the utilities on the west side of Tazewell Pike to ensure proper clearance.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.

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