Pedestrian Bridge

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Proposed Pedestrian Bridge

Pedestrian-Bicycle Bridge Across the Tennessee River

Connecting the South Knoxville Waterfront with UT Campus and Downtown

What is the Bridge About?

Development of a pedestrian-bicycle bridge will connect the University of Tennessee Campus with the South Knoxville Waterfront Redevelopment Area. The Redevelopment and Vision Plan calls for a mixture of development and multimodal connections to facilitate the South Waterfront as an active place for people to live, work, exercise, and seek entertainment. 

The bridge was identified as a key investment through the extensive community driven process to support greater connectivity to UT and downtown. The pedestrian-bicycle bridge will provide efficient, sustainable access to jobs, services, work, and school while maximizing pedestrian and bicycle safety across the river. It will expand the pedestrian-bicycle network connecting 18 miles of greenways, more than 50 miles of Urban Wilderness, Volunteer Landing, and the South Knoxville Riverwalk. 

The bridge will be an iconic design element that also complements UT Campus, the city’s skyline as a river city, and nearby buildings.

Who is involved?

The City of Knoxville, Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation, and The University of Tennessee are working collaboratively with the community.  Essential partnerships and support from the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will assist in the bridge becoming a reality for Knoxville.


The bridge would span the river from Clancy Avenue on the south side to the pedestrian concourse on the north located between Thompson-Boling Arena and Pratt Pavilion.

Plans include meeting required vertical clearance for the river’s barge channel, Gulf & Ohio Railroad, and Neyland Drive. The bridge will be on air rights over the Tennessee River and no piers are proposed in the river. The north landing is owned by UT. The acquisition of minimal properties on the south bank are under discussion.

Pedestrian Bridge rendering Pedestrian Bridge rendering

Summary of Benefits

• The University of Tennessee’s strategic plan includes expanding the number of students and faculty significantly over the next several years and access to housing is, and will be, a growing need. With the connectivity of the pedestrian-bicycle bridge, South Knoxville can help support this growth. 

In March of 2022, UT’s Board of Trustees agreed to expand the official campus boundaries by adding a small bit of land on the south bank of the Tennessee River. While that boundary extension does not mean the plan will become a reality, it allows discussions to continue. 

• The South Knoxville Waterfront Redevelopment Area has seen transformative change through significant public and private investment in recent years, with more on the horizon. Bringing to life a key element of the South Waterfront Vision Plan will further accelerate private investments. This is an opportunity to redevelop historically industrial property while providing sustainable and economic development linkage between the South Waterfront, UT, downtown Knoxville, and the expanding greenway system. Details on the progress of the South Waterfront can be found here.

• Increase the region’s economic development potential by attracting increased private development and grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out.

Why Now?

• Substantial work has been accomplished since 2009 on the bridge location, initial structural plans, various approvals from state, federal, and environmental agencies, and an initial infrastructure needs analysis.

• In particular if funding can be acquired, leadership at the University of Tennessee, the City of Knoxville, and Knox County are all committed to this opportunity to meaningfully connect UT and downtown with South Knoxville.

Crossing bridge


April 2024 - Connectivity as a Catalyst, Pedestrian Bridge project planning process slides [PDF] (33 MB)

2024 RAISE Application Submittal for the South Waterfront Pedestrian Bridge - 02-27-2024 [PDF] (13 MB)

Land Purchased for Pedestrian Bridge - 10-11-2023

City's Application for $25 Million from the RAISE Grant Program - 02/27/2023 [PDF]

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and The University of Tennessee - 02/16/2023 [PDF]

TIGER Grant Application - 06-05-2015 [PDF]