Dickerson Pike Set For Pedestrian Improvements

In mid-September, East Nashville neighbors gathered at Shwab Elementary School to discuss a development project that could make life much easier for local pedestrians. Attendees were there to discuss sidewalk improvements along the east side of Dickerson Pike, which would allow for easier, more pleasant walking from Douglas Avenue to Trinity Lane.
      “Our team of design consultants, led by engineers from Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, led the discussion with a presentation to the community,” J. Andrew Smith, an engineer from the Metro Public Works Department, says. “Comments were taken to enhance the project as it transitions from the preliminary engineering and environmental phase into the design phase.”
      In addition to the new sidewalk, the renovation will include a green zone and other pedestrian enhancements, such as planting trees along the route. The need for these improvements was identified by the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Eighty percent of the costs, which are expected to reach $6.5 million, will be covered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) with Metro responsible for the remaining 20 percent.
      The project is the latest effort to improve that section of the neighborhood and will complement earlier improvements made in the area. Within the last few years, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency built a sidewalk in front of Uptown Flats, which stands at the corner of Gatewood Avenue and Dickerson Pike, about halfway between Douglas Avenue and Trinity Lane. Smith also cites a similar redevelopment effort just south of Douglas Avenue.
      A timeline shared at the community event projected a late 2019 completion date and TDOT requires that it be completed no later than May 2020. “We are at the end of the environmental phase of project development,” Smith says. “I expect we’ll ask TDOT for a ‘Notice to Proceed’ into the design phase in the next few weeks. As always, projects which require right-of-way or utility relocations have unique challenges.”