By: Gloria Cortes
Construction for a pedestrian sidewalk around Volunteer State Community College is scheduled to begin this fall.
This project cost estimate is $200,000 of taxpayer money, and this seems expensive to some students.
“I can cross the street without a crosswalk… A crosswalk would be nice, but it’s not necessary for that amount of money,” said Ryan Lyle, a Vol-State freshman.
The first phase of this project is for the Gallatin Public Works crews to construct a sidewalk on Gap Boulevard from Nashville Pike to Vol-State’s parking entrance.
The second phase of this project will be to install a crosswalk at the intersection of Nashville Pike and the main entrance of Vol-State, and another at the intersection of Nashville Pike and Gap Boulevard.
Unlike the sidewalks, the construction schedule is flexible and subject to change. In an email According to Dewayne “Buck” Rogers, PE Gallatin assistant engineer, “It could possibly be Spring before the intersection project is complete…Pending schedules and weather, the completion could happen sooner. Once the pedestrian design is complete, we will have a better feel for the construction timeline.”
Push buttons will also be installed for crossing pedestrians.
Students should expect minor delays in their commutes because of the project construction.
“I don’t anticipate any lane closures on Gap Blvd, but traffic will be slower due to the workers being present,” wrote Rogers.
With Vol-State’s current record-breaking enrollment, these improvements will hopefully benefit students by making on-foot transportation easier.
“Vol-State is in the process of trying to make the campus a more walkable community,” said Rogers.
Students and faculty seem to welcome the idea of these pedestrian improvements, as they believe it will make walking off-campus safer for everyone and provide people with more access to the businesses across Nashville Pike.
“[The crosswalks] will give us more options to cross the street, for different types of options for food as well as other services,” said Senior Director of Plant Operations Will Newman.
Rogers wrote, “We believe that the Pedestrian Improvements will greatly benefit the students at Vol-State. The completion of the improvements will provide an alternative means for commuters to safely walk to nearby businesses instead of driving.”
Despite any minimal opposition, the majority of the Vol-State population looks forward to the completion of this pedestrian project.