A survey crew for the city of Chattanooga mark the metal supports under the wooden surface of a pedestrian bridge in Renaissance Park in North Chattanooga. Photo by John Rawlston/Times Free Press
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -
As the Scenic City continues to get national recognition as an outdoor sports-friendly city, Chattanooga officials have funneled funds to fix two of the bridges that runners, cyclists and walkers cross daily on their regular routes.
Chattanoogan Sarah Smith said she's been avoiding the metal-framed wooden bridges at Renaissance Park on the North Shore because the cracked and rotten boards scare her.
"This bridge is terrible. I just fell into a hole," Smith said Wednesday, pointing to the bridge that crosses the water-filtering slough at the park's east end, below the man-made hills. "It's a really runner-friendly city, but things like that are dangerous."
The City Council voted Tuesday night to fix the pedestrian bridges in Renaissance Park for $350,000 and begin the first phase of repairs on the more-than-century-old Walnut Street Bridge for $1.2 million. In line with the focus on the outdoors, the nearly $97 million capital budget the council approved on first reading also includes money for a protected bike lane on Broad Street for $220,000 and a greenway space to slow traffic for bikers and walkers on Virginia Avenue in St. Elmo for $325,000.