Walnut Street Bridge Closure Confusion



A post made by CARTA’s official Twitter account saying the Walnut Street Bridge was soon closing for repairs on March 7. It has since been deleted.

UPDATE: Chattanooga Parks and Outdoors issued this statement on Sunday regarding Walnut Street Bridge.

“Friends. There have been a lot of questions the last couple days regarding our beloved Walnut Street Bridge closing for renovations. At this time, the pedestrian bridge is and will remain open.
While plans are being discussed to renovate and preserve for years to come, there has not been a formal date set. Once those decisions are made, the public will be made aware well in advance. We are thrilled that so many love this Chattanooga icon as much as we do.”

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The Walnut Street Bridge is an important piece of Chattanooga history and a vital link for pedestrians and bikers between the Northshore and downtown.

However, posts from one agency suggested it could be closed soon for repairs.

Erected in 1891, the Walnut Street Bridge has evolved to become the world’s longest pedestrian bridge.

It has gone through many renovations and maintenance in order to remain in use over the many decades.

However, posts from one agency suggested it could be closed soon for repairs.

Posts made by CARTA this week suggested that the next renovations and repair work would be coming soon.

They posted on March 7th on their social media accounts a flier saying “The Walnut Street Bridge will be temporarily closing for major maintenance and repairs. The time and length of the closure are not finalized but it could be up to 18 months”.

The post links to a survey being conducted by a pair of UTC professors that asks a series of questions about what kind of effects a closure would have on those who use the bridge.

Some of the questions asked in the survey focused on the nearby bridges of the Market Street Bridge and the Veteran’s Bridge.

They asked questions of participants if they feel safe walking or biking across those bridges and if there should be increased bike and pedestrian lanes if the Walnut Street Bridge were to close for repair.

What complicates the story is a response from Chattanooga city spokesperson Ellis Smith to the CARTA post about this bridge closure.

Smith said in response to the closure that in part, “We own the bridge. CARTA owns buses. We’ve made no announcement or decision about repairs, timeline or closure of the Walnut Street Bridge. Sorry Chattanooga for any confusion.”

CARTA has since deleted their original post about the bridge closure.

We’ve reached out to the city, the professors conducting the survey, and CARTA about the situation and have yet to hear back from any of them to learn about what caused this miscommunication and set the record straight.

There are no indications physically on the bridge that suggest any closure is coming soon.

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