Two years after the Metro Council approved funding, preliminary work has begun on Nashville’s long-anticipated 28th/31st Avenue Connector, with a ground-breaking ceremony slated for May 24.
Gwen Hopkins-Glascock, Metro Public Works spokeswoman, said Thursday that demolition and land-clearing is underway on one of the larger lots on the site.
Funding for the connector — which will fuse 28th and 31st avenues at Charlotte Avenue — was approved in May 2009. The price tag is approximately $18 million, which includes engineering and design, property acquisition and construction. Public art, to be incorporated in six transit shelters and along bridge fencing, will be a component. Overseen by the Metro Arts Commission, the public art elements have a budget of $450,000.
Mayor Karl Dean, a major proponent of the connector, feels the project will spur development, particularly along Charlotte Avenue.
The one-third mile long connector will unite parts of West End with North Nashville, bridging neighborhoods and creating a better line of traffic from Metro General Hospital, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University on the north to Centennial Medical Center, HCA and Vanderbilt on the west. The multimodal boulevard will run from Park Plaza to the south side of the Nashville and Western Railroad (CSX) tracks.
Completion is slated for late 2012.