NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Tennessee Department of Transportation released the final designs for the reconstruction of the Broadway bridge in downtown Nashville.
The existing Broadway Viaduct that crosses over 11th Avenue and the CSX Railroad was built in 1948, but now it is showing signs of deterioration and needs to be replaced, according to TDOT.
The newly-released images for the U.S. 70/State Route 1 bridge show the new accommodations for all transit modes as well as safety improvements.
“Our charge from the people that people that pay taxes to the state are that we take care of the user, all of the users of our facilities, with safety being first,” explained TDOT Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer Will Reid.
“Number one we want to provide a safe facility, but we also understand time is important to all of our users, businesses, downtown, the state of Tennessee in general. So, what we do is use our engineering expertise to come up with a way that we can satisfy all those goals.”
Work on the project is scheduled to begin in February with the bridge being narrowed to four lanes. A full eight-week closure will be necessary later this summer as the project moves forward.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by October.
Several detours will be designed for drivers in the downtown area.
TDOT reported the existing structure is approximately 700 feet long and 98 feet wide, comprised of structural steel beams and support columns. The roadway consists of six 10-foot travel lanes, three in each direction, and one 12-foot center turn lane and 10-foot sidewalks, according to TDOT.
“It’s come to the point where retrofitting it at this point, or refurbishing it, just doesn’t make financial sense,” said Reid. “So, it’s time, it’s time for the bridge to be replaced. It’s done its job and now’s the time to go in and replace it.”
The replacement structure will remain on the same alignment and general width of the existing structure and will be comprised of steel girders and support columns. The roadway will maintain six 10-foot travel lanes, three in each direction, and an 8-foot striped median with 1-foot shoulders, curb and gutter, and 11-foot 8-inch sidewalks, which includes space for aesthetic features like planters on both sides of the roadway.
The additional space will allow for planters to be placed as a barrier between vehicular and pedestrian traffic, according to TDOT, and includes the possibility for connections to future development in the area.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to not only address the needs of the traveling public and the folks that use this but also make it a showpiece for downtown Nashville,” said Reid.
In an effort to reduce construction impacts, TDOT said accelerated bridge construction techniques and alternative delivery methods are being considered.