South Knoxville: Sidewalks coming to waterfront

Sandra ClarkFun Outdoors, South Knox

By the end of 2021, new sidewalks will be constructed on sections of Waterfront Drive, Langford Avenue, Dixie Street and Empire Street – a $733,263 project that also will add new streetlights and drainage, curb and utility upgrades in the area near Suttree Landing Park on the South Waterfront.

Knoxville City Council on March 23 authorized an agreement with Design and Construction Services Inc., the company submitting the lowest, most responsive bid to do the Waterfront Drive Roadway Improvements Project.

Work on Claude and Barber streets in the vicinity will be undertaken as funding becomes available, according to a city press statement.

“Connectivity and walkability on and near the South Waterfront are important,” said Rebekah Jane Justice, the city’s deputy chief of Economic and Community Development. This type of project is a good example of the city investing strategically to advance one of Mayor Kincannon’s core priorities – building healthy and connected neighborhoods, Justice said.

Long-range plans for the South Waterfront call for an eventual 3-mile continuous riverwalk and walkable neighborhoods that connect with nearby amenities and with downtown, as well as new retail and residential developments. One of those planned private investments is South Banks, an apartment community that the Dominion Group hopes to construct by next year off Waterfront Drive.

Connecting the Sevier Avenue commercial corridor with Suttree Landing Park by improving public infrastructure between the two points is a short-term city objective. It’s the first of much more to come.

In the coming few years, the city will be investing $10 million in a streetscape overhaul of Sevier Avenue – relocating unsightly overhead utility lines and adding bike lanes, improved sidewalks, street lighting, on-street parking and a new roundabout at the intersection of Sevier Avenue, Island Home Avenue and Foggy Bottom.


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