Harding Place sidewalk project slated to begin soon - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Harding Place sidewalk project slated to begin soon

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Big changes are coming to one of the most dangerous roads in Nashville. Since 2010, two pedestrians have been killed and several more have been injured while walking along Harding Place.

Metro Public Works announced Friday its crews are just weeks away from breaking ground on a long-awaited sidewalk project that will make Harding Place safer.

"We'll close a lane maybe during non-peak hours," said Mark Macy, director of engineering for Metro Public Works.

After years of planning, preparation and research, some are wondering why it took so long to get started.

"When you get federal funds, you have to play by their rules. Some of their rules, you have to do environmental documents," Macy said. "Crossing the river down there, there are crayfish, so you have to watch out for those guys. We have to follow all their rules for right away procurement."

Harding Place may top the list of dangerous roads, but Adams Carroll, with the group Walk/Bike Nashville, says there are many others.

"One neighborhood sidewalk is not more or less important than any other neighborhood sidewalk," he said.

Carroll says while the city is doing more to make Nashville a more walkable place, he believes the city still falls short.

"A sidewalk network is as important for accessing basic needs like getting groceries, education, healthcare and that kind of stuff as it is for people who want to be healthy," he said.

"We're chipping away at it, but it takes time to get these things built," Macy said.

This particular sidewalk project costs about $10 million, with a good portion paid by the federal government.

It will be done in three phases between Interstates 24 and 65, and the first phase will begin in about three or four weeks.

The second phase will begin within the next three to six months.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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