Mayor Madeline Rogero announced recently that the city has quadrupled its budget for sidewalks. Last week she said work will begin this month on five major new sidewalk construction projects across Knoxville, with a combined estimated cost of $3.765 million.
In the budget for the fiscal year starting July 1, Rogero proposed and City Council approved a sidewalks budget of almost $3 million. (The remainder of the new project costs will be covered by previously budgeted sidewalk funding.)
Rogero has also announced plans for a comprehensive study of Knoxville’s new sidewalk network and needs. A Request for Proposals for a consultant for that study will be issued later this year. In the meantime, the city will move forward with five new projects that have long been identified as high priorities, according to a city press release.
“Sidewalks are a crucial part of our transportation and civic infrastructure,” Rogero said. “They connect neighborhoods to commercial areas and to transit options, and they promote public safety and health. While we await a full study of our sidewalk system, these five projects are a great start to a more robust sidewalk construction program.”
The projects were chosen from the city Engineering Department’s existing list of new sidewalk priorities, based on level of need and financial feasibility given the available funds. They are:
- Gleason Drive, between Downtown West Boulevard and Bearden High School (1,800 linear feet). Estimated cost: $630,000
- Palmetto Road, between Western Avenue and Landon Drive (1,150 linear feet). Estimated cost: $402,500
- Buffat Mill Road, between Whittle Springs Road and Bridalwood Drive (2,550 linear feet). Estimated cost: $892,500
- Atlantic Avenue, between Pershing Street and North Broadway (3,000 linear feet). Estimated cost: $1,050,000
- Wilson Avenue, between South Chestnut Street and South Harrison Street (1,400 linear feet). Estimated cost: $790,000.
City Engineering will begin design work on the five new projects during July. For updates, see the Engineering Department’s online project page.