City Council OKs Pedestrian Bridge Professional Services Contract

The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, to authorize a professional services contract for $267,000 with Energy, Land and Infrastructure, Inc. (ELI) to design the Pedestrian Bridge over Broad Street. The pedestrian bridge concept was one of the “big ideas” from the Historic Bottoms Planning Study intended to connect the Bottoms with downtown.

“The intent of the Pedestrian Bridge over Broad Street is to provide a safe pedestrian alternative from Murfreesboro’s downtown area to the proposed Town Creek project and the Historic Bottoms Corridor,” said Transportation Director Jim Kerr. “The contract with ELI is for preliminary design and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review in accordance with Tennessee Department of Transportation programs.”

The City Transportation Department submitted a proposal for a pedestrian bridge project near the intersection of Broad and South Church Street through TDOT’s competitive Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant funds. TDOT distributes federal funds to communities to build sidewalks, bike lanes, and update ADA accessibility, and to renovate historic transportation facilities. TDOT notified the City of the award for the pedestrian bridge project of $1.7 million from the TAP program.

City staff advertised for qualifications and letters of interest to provide professional design services necessary for the pedestrian bridge project as outlined in TDOT’s Local Program Development Office Manual. Staff recommended contracting with ELI after reviewing proposals. Funding for the design services is funded by the FY21 and FY22 bond.

Council voted Dec. 21, 2023, to authorize four Task Orders for Phase 2 of the “daylighting” Town Creek project with Griggs and Maloney Engineering. Task Orders 7 through 10 are included under the current America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Master Services Agreement (MSA) requiring Council approval. Funding for Task Orders 7, 9 and 10 in the amount of $412,000 are provided by ARPA funds. Utilization of federal stimulus funds for the stormwater elements of the project offset City funds to be applied toward local expenditures.

“The Town Creek Project and related public improvements will enhance the entrance to the downtown area and encourage redevelopment of the Historic Bottoms,” said Assistant City Manager Sam Huddleston. “By daylighting Town Creek, the stream will be returned to a natural condition which provides the environmental benefit required by ARPA and it removes a large, aging stormwater culvert instead in the 1950s.”

The Task Orders with Griggs and Maloney are as follows:

  • Task Order 7 provides for ALTA Survey and Geotechnical Exploration and Environmental Soil Sampling for Tract 8 along the Town Creek Phase 2 corridor and will be funded from ARPA funds designated for Town Creek Daylighting for $27,100.
  • Task Order 9 provides for environmental permitting along the Town Creek Phase 1 and 2 corridor and will be funded from ARPA funds designated for Town Creek Daylighting for $40,000.
  • Task Order 10 provides for 50% Construction Documents within the Phase 1 and 2 corridor and will be funded from ARPA funds designated for Town Creek Daylighting for $345,000.Task Order 8 provides for Building Characterization (asbestos, HVAC, Fire Suppression) of Tract 8 within the Phase 2 corridor and will be funded from General Fund designated to Town Creek property acquisition for $5,700 and will be administratively approved.

On Jan. 12, 2022, the Murfreesboro City Council voted to approve proceeding with appraisal, negotiation, and acquisition of property along Broad Street for “daylighting” of Town Creek, an underground stream that originates in Murfree Spring at the Discovery Center. Phase I of the Town Creek Redevelopment Project will daylight Town Creek from Murfree Springs to Church Street. Phase II will daylight Town Creek from Church Street to Front Street at Cannonsburgh Village.

The Murfreesboro City Council first voted in 2016, to authorize Griggs & Maloney Engineering to conduct planning and design phase of “daylighting” Town Creek from Murfree Springs to South Church Street.

The Historic Bottoms Planning Study written by Ragan Smith Associates included the recommended exploration of “‘daylighting’ Town Creek and extending the Lytle Creek Greenway to the Discovery Center.” The study is available by clicking this link

“The Historic Bottoms area is designated as a redevelopment priority,” added Huddleston. “Addressing stormwater improvements to this location, which historically was subject to significant flooding, is environmental important as is the aesthetic enhancements that can assist with redevelopment of this area.”

Town Creek currently flows in underground concrete culverts and a series of corrugated metal pipes from Murfree Springs to Cannonsburgh Village before emptying into Lytle Creek. Town Creek was placed in culverts as part of development and redevelopment projects in the 1950s and 1960s including Broad Street. The culvert system is approximately 70 years old.

According to previous engineering inspections, the culverts are in poor condition and in need of repair or replacement. In 2007, a portion of the culvert system failed in the former KFC parking lot and had to be replaced. Griggs & Maloney has proposed abandoning the pipe and culvert infrastructure and daylighting Town Creek rather than replacing the existing structure.

The Town Creek Daylighting Phase 1 (Planning & Design) project included the following by Griggs & Maloney:

  • Surveying of the project area;
  • Flow monitoring of Town Creek, 2016-2017 winter season;
  • Planning and detailed design;
  • Plans for diverting the stream flow during construction;
  • Site plan for a ‘pocket park’ and surface trail connecting trails at Murfree Springs;
  • Assist City with obtaining stream mitigation credits;
  • Bidding phase assistance.

Completion of the Town Creek Phase II project will provide walking and biking trail connectivity from the Discovery Center and Murfree Springs to Cannonsburgh Village and the Greenway Trail System.

For more information on daylighting Town Creek Stream, e-mail Assistant City Manager Sam Huddleston at [email protected].

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