Metro Nashville Public Works


Nashville, TN


Roadway Design and Engineering

mile extension bridge
block radius
urban neighborhoods connected
Aerial image of Division Street bridge

Like Threading A Needle

The proposed alignment for the project began at 8th Avenue and ended at 2nd Avenue, traversing the CSX railroad tracks along the way. As multiple buildings encroached into the ideal route for the extension, finding a way to snake the half-mile bridge through the crowded urban setting was akin to threading a needle. Our engineers met this structural challenge with a serpentine solution: take a straight steel beam and curve it—both horizontally and vertically—to impact the fewest number of buildings and businesses.

Bike lane and sidewalk on Division Street bridge

Bikes, Peds and Automobiles

Responding to a changing culture that is demanding more transportation choices, the four-lane, curved girder bridge is multimodal, allowing bicyclists, pedestrians, cars and transit to share the Complete Street. To help keep drivers and cyclists safely in their respective lanes, we used colored concrete to differentiate designated bike paths. LED delineator lights were embedded between the bicycle and pedestrian pathways to provide safe lighting and minimize environmental impact.

Map showing Division Street in Nashville

No More Bypassing Arteries

While creating an additional route from the Gulch to neighborhoods south of Broadway, the bridge also allows for better circulation and distribution of traffic, alleviating congestion from 8th Avenue and its signature roundabout and from 12th Avenue corridors. Another huge upshot of the downtown connector is that it provides motorists with an additional link to Nashville’s major transportation arteries, including I-40 to the east, and Murfreesboro Road and 4th Avenue to the south and east.

Bike lanes and pedestrian areas underneath Division Street bridge

A New Sense of Place

The new bridge also provides significant economic and social benefits by spurring growth and infill development along the corridor and encouraging more active, healthy lifestyles. Connecting the bridge to the street below, a pedestrian path injects new life into street-level businesses only a 10-minute walk from the Gulch district. A new pedestrian plaza beneath the overpass creates a unique sense of place for the community.

Multiuse path and bioswales on Division Street

A Complete Street That’s Good for the Environment

In keeping with Nashville’s Green Street initiative as well as Complete Streets practices and sustainable design principles, we slightly narrowed the street from 12 feet to 11 feet and 10 feet to control traffic flow and minimize impervious asphalt surfaces. Curb cuts direct stormwater to rain gardens and bioswales that filter stormwater runoff through native plantings and engineered soil layers, minimizing the amount of street pollution entering Nashville’s tributary systems.

Division Street

An Equal Opportunity Connector

Contributing to the city’s larger goal of building more Complete Streets, the Division Street Extension Bridge provides Nashville with a critical piece of infrastructure—a socioeconomic connective tissue that not only links two high-profile urban neighborhoods, but also gives pedestrians and cyclists equal opportunity to circulate through the city’s streets.