Land Purchased for Pedestrian Bridge

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Land Purchased for Pedestrian Bridge

Posted: 10/11/2023
In partnership with the City of Knoxville and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has acquired 2323 W. Blount Ave., the primary parcel needed to construct a proposed pedestrian bridge and continue the City’s progress toward implementing the community-inspired South Waterfront Vision Plan.

“This strategic acquisition is a critical step in realizing our community’s vision, which has been more than 15 years in the making,” Mayor Indya Kincannon said. 

“Aesthetically, the pedestrian bridge will immediately become an iconic landmark. Functionally, it will provide safe connectivity between South Knoxville and the rest of the city, including downtown, our greenway system, and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. And in terms of enrichment and economic investment, it will help the South Waterfront reach its full potential.”

Part of KCDC’s role as the City of Knoxville’s redevelopment agency is to purchase, hold and prepare properties for future development. Purchasing the West Blount Avenue parcel will allow for construction of the pedestrian bridge and surrounding mixed-use development. 

Through adherence to the South Waterfront Form-Based Code, the acquisition enables the creation of additional public open space and increased housing opportunities at a variety of price points. The project planning will include expanded access and connectivity through the design of safe pedestrian networks.

“The West Blount Avenue acquisition lays the foundation for a walkable South Waterfront for generations to come,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The pedestrian bridge and implementation of the Vision Plan will benefit South Knoxville residents, UT Knoxville students, faculty and staff, and visitors.”

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville is an enthusiastic partner in the pedestrian bridge project. Its leaders lauded the City-directed property purchase as a major step forward.

“As someone who grew up in the community of South Knoxville, the pedestrian bridge is more than just a physical structure; it's a critical investment and symbolic link between communities and opportunities,” said UT System President Randy Boyd.

“Because our flagship campus is in need of more housing and our employees are in need of more options, the pedestrian bridge will be enormously helpful to UT Knoxville and in revitalizing the South Knoxville community.”
UT Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman agreed, saying, “The pedestrian bridge will help further connect our campus and community. We appreciate our partnership with the City of Knoxville for the purchase of this parcel, and look forward to continuing to work together in a way that provides our community additional opportunities for both green space and growth.”

With the State of Tennessee’s recent contribution of $20 million toward planning, design and construction of the pedestrian bridge, momentum for the project continues to build. The project team is working to finalize the bridge design and cost estimate to be incorporated into the 2024 federal RAISE grant application.

Beginning in early 2024, public engagement and stakeholder input will guide the development of a master plan for the bridge landing points that align with the South Waterfront Vision Plan.

More information available at