KNOXVILLE (WATE) — Soon enough, several roads in Knoxville will have new sidewalks. The city approved five projects to provide safer transportation and designs to build them are already underway.
Residents in one North Knoxville neighborhood say they will benefit from this construction. They live along Atlantic Avenue, where there is no barrier between the edge of the street and their homes. For the people living in this assisted living center, L & L Sweet Home Care, they can’t venture outside of their front door because it’s too dangerous.
“Lots of people walking, running all through the day, through the night. I’ve seen a lot of people almost get run over,” said Amanda Hensley, a caregiver at L & L Sweet Home Care.
One of her patients, Betty Hogge, has been living there for nearly a year. She said, “I can hear the cars.”
Hensley has to limit the distance that the residents are allowed to go outside. “We don’t allow our patients out front at all due to the oncoming traffic. So if there was a sidewalk there, we could probably get them out more, get them to walk more.”
Safety is the main reason Knoxville officials plan to build new sidewalks. The Atlantic Avenue segment is just one of five projects. It stretches 3,000 feet and will create a connection between Pershing Street and North Broadway.
“I think it would be awesome to be able to take them out for a walk or even just the regular ongoers that like to run and walk their animals. It’s safe for everybody,” said Hensley.
That’s what Betty Hogge hopes for.
“She could take me and push me up and down the sidewalk,” said Hogge.
The sidewalk project will be a combined estimated cost of $3.765 million. City officials will always be studying other parts of town to add more sidewalks.
“Sidewalks are a crucial part of our transportation and civic infrastructure,” Mayor Rogero said. “They connect neighborhoods to commercial areas and to transit options, and they promote public safety and health. While we await a full study of our sidewalk system, these five projects are a great start to a more robust sidewalk construction program.”
In the meantime, construction on five of the roads will start this month.
Gleason Drive, between Downtown West Boulevard and Bearden High School (1,800 linear feet). Estimated cost: $630,000.
Palmetto Road, between Western Avenue and Landon Drive (1,150 linear feet). Estimated cost: $402,500.
Buffat Mill Road, between Whittle Springs Road and Bridalwood Drive (2,550 linear feet). Estimated cost: $892,500.
Atlantic Avenue, between Pershing Street and North Broadway (3,000 linear feet). Estimated cost: $1,050,000.
Wilson Avenue, between South Chestnut Street and South Harrison Street (1,400 linear feet). Estimated cost: $790,000.
For updates, see the Engineering Department’s online project page at http://knoxvilletn.gov/government/city_departments_offices/engineering/capital_improvements_projects/.