By the end of the year, new sidewalks will be constructed on sections of Waterfront Drive, Langford Avenue, Dixie Street and Empire Street – a $733,263 project that also will add new streetlights and drainage, curb and utility upgrades in the area near Suttree Landing Park on the South Waterfront.


Knoxville City Council last evening (March 23, 2021) authorized Mayor Indya Kincannon’s administration to execute an agreement with Design and Construction Services Inc., the company submitting the lowest, most responsive bid to do the Waterfront Drive Roadway Improvements Project.


Work on Claude and Barber streets in the vicinity will be undertaken as funding becomes available.


“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.”


This type of project, Justice said, is a good example of the City investing strategically to advance one of Mayor Indya Kincannon’s core priorities – building healthy and connected neighborhoods.


Long-range plans for the South Waterfront call for an eventual 3-mile continuous riverwalk and walkable neighborhoods that connect with nearby amenities and with downtown, as well as new retail and residential developments.


One of those planned private investments is South Banks, an apartment community that the Dominion Group hopes to construct by next year off Waterfront Drive.


Connecting the Sevier Avenue commercial corridor with Suttree Landing Park by improving public infrastructure between the two points is a short-term City objective. It’s the first of much more to come.


In the coming few years, the City will be investing $10 million in a streetscape overhaul of Sevier Avenue – relocating unsightly overhead utility lines and adding bike lanes, improved sidewalks, street lighting, on-street parking and a new roundabout at the Sevier Avenue, Island Home Avenue and Foggy Bottom Street intersection.