Work On $31.3 Million Walnut Street Bridge Renovations May Start Next March; Take 18 Months

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Major renovations on the historic Walnut Street Bridge may get underway next March, City Council Vice Chair Jenny Hill said Tuesday.

She spoke to the North Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce about the $31.3 million project.

Ms. Hill said the federal funding of $13.3 million has been secured.

The city's share will be $18 million.

The speaker said the project should take about 18 months to complete.

She said plans are in progress for pedestrian and multi-modal connectivity during the renovations.

A city website says the city "is working to address safety and structural items along the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge. Correcting these items also provides an opportunity to freshen paint and lighting. The project includes structural steel repairs, repainting, new decking, new electrical, and new lighting."

It also says, "Bridge users will not be able to cross the bridge entirely during the renovation while the contractor performs the work. However, users will be able to access certain parts of the bridge before or after renovations begin on those sections.

"While the Walnut Street Bridge renovations are completed, the city will use the Market Street Bridge as a temporary detour route for pedestrian travel across the Tennessee River. This is the shortest route. A secondary detour will also be available using the Veterans Bridge.

"The detour route will begin at the entry to the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, on the south side of the river. The city will provide signage directing pedestrians to travel west on East 1st Street for two blocks to Market Street."

The site says, "There are several events that use the bridge. The contractor will halt work and make the bridge crossable for these iconic events, to include the following: Chattanooga Marathon (March), Ironman 70.3 (May), Riverbend and Riverbend Run (May), Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon (June), Moon River Festival (September), Ironman (September), 7 Bridges Marathon (October), and Head of the Hooch (November).

"The community can receive project updates by texting the keyword “WSB” to 1-423-249-9181 or sign up on our website at walnutstreetbridge.com. The city will also post timely updates to inform the public on social media, the city’s mobile app, and in print, with additional help from media outlets and public text notifications throughout the duration of construction."

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