Residents along a high traffic roadway are looking for answers after city officials promised sidewalks would be installed more than two years ago.
In August 2011, Governor Bill Haslam and TDOT Commissioner John Schroer announced a multi-million dollar plan that would build sidewalks along Harding Place.
Now, more than 700 days later, the project appears to remain untouched.
Resident Beverly Sutton lives along Harding Pike and often catches the bus at a nearby bus stop that is placed on a narrow stretch of grass on the busy roadway.
"Personally I wouldn't allow my kids to catch the bus here. I would be too much of a nervous wreck," Sutton said.
Nashville's News 2 Investigates met with city official Don Reid Thursday to follow up on the project.
According to Reid, despite public perception of nothing being done, there is actually a lot of work going on behind the scenes.
"We are required by the Uniform Act to be fair to all homeowners up and down that stretch and that is what takes so long," he explained. "We have to offer fair market price and negotiate those tracks of land in that area."
Reid said Phase I of the project, located between Timberhill and Danby drives, is ready to be bid out and construction on the estimated $1.2 million project is expected to begin by the spring.
Phase II, from Interstate 24 to Nolensville Road, however, has been more problematic due to environmental impact studies, right of way acquisitions and utility concerns.
"We had to get all the environmental issues completed before we could do anything," Reid said, adding, "That is done now, so that is exciting. Now we are almost there. We have three more properties to negotiate. I anticipate that being done by the end of this year and bids going out the first of next year. Ideally, we would like to finish up Phase I and start on Phase II right after. If we have our way, all of this will be done by late fall of 2014."
Nashville's News 2 Investigates reached out to Mayor Dean's office for reaction to the concerns by the south Nashville residents.
A spokesperson for the mayor replied via email, saying, "This sidewalk will allow residents to access mass transit, schools, churches and stores more safely, and we are pleased the project is on schedule. Sidewalks make our community safer and encourage Nashvillians to walk and be more active. Over the past five capital spending plans, Mayor Dean has invested $40 million dollars in sidewalks. We appreciate the partnership with TDOT on this important addition to our sidewalk network."
Last year Mark Pullo, a father walking home from the grocery store, was killed after he was struck by a vehicle. No arrests were ever made in the fatal incident.
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