City Council Approves Major Sidewalk Improvement Plan

Knoxville City Council approved sidewalk improvements on South Castle Street.

Meeting Tuesday, council authorized the acquisitions of immanent domain needed to improve the sidewalks on South Castle Street.

The project will create the sidewalk links for the area along South Castle Street to Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to Claude Walker Park at Wilson Avenue.

According to Jim Hagerman, director of engineering for Knoxville, “There is more gap than there is sidewalk along South Castle Street.”

“There are several short pieces. It is beyond filling gaps, but there is at least something to work with,” said Hagerman.

Hagerman said that the sidewalk will get people from the high school into the neighborhood and to the park. He said, full sidewalks would be by the high school, a middle school, and a park.

Hagerman said that he is not able to commit to a definite time frame at the moment.

“This is the last big step before getting construction” said Hagerman.

According to Della Volpe, the ordinances were created because some of the residents would not willingly agree to give up their land.

Former Mayor Daniel Brown said a constituent whom lives on Castle Street contacted him in 2010 with concern about the students walking on Castle with no sidewalks.

“There’s a lot of traffic. I was on Castle Street today and saw someone walking. So we’ve been working on it for quite sometime,” said Brown.

The main priority of the project is for the safety of the students and others who walk along Castle Street.

“So we’ve been working on it for quite sometime, and it’s really going to be an enhancement thinking about the Magnolia streetscapes project,” said Brown.

The South Castle Street sidewalk project will be finalized sometime this year, according to Hagerman.

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