Murfreesboro City Council Approves $267,000 Contract to Design Pedestrian Bridge Over Broad Street and TDOT Awards Funding to Build $1.7 Million Bridge

Jan 12, 2024 at 10:48 am by WGNS News

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — The Murfreesboro City Council made a significant decision on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, by voting to authorize a professional services contract worth $267,000 with Energy, Land and Infrastructure, Inc. (ELI). This contract is intended to pay for the design of a future Pedestrian Bridge that will go over Broad Street, a project stemming from the Historic Bottoms Planning Study.

The Pedestrian Bridge over Broad Street is a key element of the city's vision to enhance connectivity between the downtown area and the proposed Town Creek project in the Historic Bottoms Corridor. Jim Kerr, the Transportation Director, emphasized the safety aspect, stating, “The intent of the Pedestrian Bridge over Broad Street is to provide a safe pedestrian alternative from Murfreesboro’s downtown area to the proposed Town Creek project and the Historic Bottoms Corridor.”


The City Transportation Department successfully secured funding for this project through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funds provided by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). The award of $1.7 million from the TAP program has set the stage for the preliminary design and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review by ELI.

In alignment with TDOT's Local Program Development Office Manual, the City staff went through a competitive process, inviting proposals for professional design services. After careful consideration, ELI emerged as the recommended choice. The funds for the design services are drawn from the FY21 and FY22 bonds.

This decision follows the City Council's previous authorization on Dec. 21, 2023, for four Task Orders related to Phase 2 of the Town Creek project, known for "daylighting" the underground stream that runs through the city. Griggs and Maloney Engineering are overseeing these tasks, with Task Orders 7 through 10 receiving approval under the America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Master Services Agreement.

Assistant City Manager Sam Huddleston expressed optimism about the Town Creek Project, stating, “The Town Creek Project and related public improvements will enhance the entrance to the downtown area and encourage redevelopment of the Historic Bottoms.”

The approved Task Orders include a range of activities, from environmental permitting to construction document preparation. Funding for Task Orders 7, 9, and 10, totaling $412,000, comes from ARPA funds specifically designated for Town Creek Daylighting.

In 2022, the City Council had initially voted to proceed with the appraisal, negotiation, and acquisition of property along Broad Street for the Town Creek "daylighting" project. This ambitious initiative aims to return the stream to its natural condition, providing environmental benefits and removing aging stormwater culverts installed in the 1950s.

Phase I of the Town Creek Redevelopment Project will focus on daylighting Town Creek from Murfree Springs to Church Street, with Phase II extending it from Church Street to Front Street at Cannonsburgh Village.

The overall vision for this project dates back to 2016 when the City Council first authorized Griggs & Maloney Engineering to plan and design the "daylighting" of Town Creek from Murfree Springs to South Church Street. The Historic Bottoms Planning Study, which proposed the exploration of "daylighting" Town Creek, is available on the city's official website.

Assistant City Manager Sam Huddleston highlighted the significance of addressing stormwater improvements in the Historic Bottoms area, historically prone to flooding. He emphasized the environmental importance and aesthetic enhancements that can contribute to the redevelopment of this priority area.

The completion of Town Creek Phase II will not only address stormwater concerns but also provide enhanced walking and biking trail connectivity from the Discovery Center and Murfree Springs to Cannonsburgh Village and the Greenway Trail System. The Murfreesboro City Council remains committed to transformative projects that contribute to the city's growth and sustainability.

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