Walnut Street Bridge Receives National Recognition

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 10/08/2013 6:28 pm
28 years ago, Ben Probasco, the former chair of the Walnut Street Bridge Resolution Committee says, the wrecking ball was headed straight for the Walnut Street Bridge.

Probasco adds, "And a group of over 300 citizens came together and said we want to go study this before you go spend money to destroy it." 

Two years and 4.5 million dollars later, the old bridge was given new life, and in return gave the City of Chattanooga something to talk about.

Probasco adds, "I think it is one of the great jewels in our urban renaissance. I put it up alongside the other great projects in downtown, the Hunter Art Museum and the Tennessee Aquarium."

And now it's being recognized by the American Planning Association as one of America's great places.

Karen Hundt, with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, says, "I think it's great to get that national recognition for the bridge and all of the people who worked so hard to save it and restore it and for the community in general."

The Walnut Street Bridge was selected because of its character.

It's the largest and oldest truss bridge in the South and it connects two vital parts of the community: the artistic North Shore and the Bluff View Arts District.

Hundt adds, "We're in the league with a lot of great places across the country."

A new plaque adds to what's already seen on these faces: pride.

For more information on the APA's top 10 great places go to www.planning.org/greatplaces.
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