28th - 31st Avenue Connector

  • Michael Flatt

    Michael Flatt P.E.

    Division Vice President and State Transportation Leader - Tennessee Contact
Nashville, TN, United States of America
Metro Nashville Public Works

Separated when I-40 was constructed more than 40 years ago, the North Nashville and West End area communities desired improved connectivity to boost the economic vitality of the area. GS&P's charge was to determine and implement roadway corridor improvements and improve connectivity by providing a roadway and bridge across the CSX railroad between West End Avenue and I-40 along 28th Avenue and 31st Avenue.

A study was conducted to determine the needs of vehicular, pedestrian, bicycle and other users within the project limits of the 28th-31st Avenue Connector project. The functional design requirements for the improvements were established based on a traffic analysis performed as part of this study. Impacts to the existing signalized intersections of 28th Avenue/Charlotte Avenue and 31st Avenue/Park Plaza were analyzed, and lane configurations and future access requirements were recommended.

Fully constructed, this 1/3-mile multi-modal roadway provides important connectivity for Nashville’s street network and serves as an example of how transportation improvements can support the Mayor of Nashville’s commitment to having the City become one of the greenest, most sustainable cities in the country. In addition to improving connectivity and providing alternative transportation routes, the connector allows for transportation choices. A dedicated bike and pedestrian lane is designed on each side of the roadway and there are opportunities for new transit services, including Bus Rapid Transit. The connector design features rain gardens and bioswales as a main source of green design. Curb cuts allow the pavement surface runoff into these bioretention features which slows the flow of rain water and ultimately decreases the amount of pollutants that reach tributaries and rivers. Overall stormwater volume is reduced and the impact to the combined storm/sewer drainage system in the area of the project is lessened. The design also calls for more narrow traffic lanes which minimizes the overall impervious area, low energy lighting and traffic signal optimization.

The long-awaited connector opened to the public on October 2, 2012 and is one of Nashville's first "complete streets," serving as a model for efficient and sustainable transportation design.


GS&P Senior Transportation Engineer Jonathan Haycraft talks about how one of Nashville’s first "complete streets" serves as a model for efficient and sustainable transportation design.

"The 28th Avenue Connector is an important and beautifully designed road for our city. The bridge reconnects two vital parts of Nashville, which will accelerate economic activity around that area. With this project, we have set a new standard for how to design and construct a signature street in our city. It has turned out to be one of the most attractive thoroughfares in all of Nashville."

Karl Dean, Nashville Mayor

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