KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sidewalks improvements totaling more than $700,000 are coming to the area around the South Knoxville waterfront.

The City Council on Wednesday voted to OK an agreement to improve sidewalks on sections of Waterfront Drive, Langford Avenue, Dixie Street and Empire Street. The project will cost $733,263 and be completed by Design and Construction Services Inc.

New streetlights and drainage, curb and utility upgrades are all part of the improvements.

“Connectivity and walkability on and near the South Waterfront are important,” said Rebekah Jane Justice, the city’s deputy chief of economic and community development. “Here on Waterfront Drive, a privately-developed apartment community is planned, but these public sidewalks and other upgrades will benefit the entire community. It’s a step in the right direction toward making it easier for pedestrians to get between Suttree Landing Park and Sevier Avenue.” 

Long-range plans for the South Waterfront call for an eventual 3-mile continuous riverwalk and walkable neighborhoods that connect with nearby amenities and downtown.

Work on Claude and Barber streets is also planned to begin once funding becomes available.