Johnson City to spend in excess of $100,000 on consultant to develop W. Walnut Street renovation master plan

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – Johnson City’s West Walnut Street renovation project, which seemingly lost momentum over the last few months, is now ramping back up.

City leaders say they are ready to take steps to move the project forward. Commissioners recently budgeted more than $100,000 to hire a consultant to develop a master plan for the corridor.

For the time being, construction on West Walnut street is sparse with only a few renovation projects happening at area businesses. This work is small when compared to the major overall being planned along this corridor by a task force and city leaders in Johnson City.

“Its going to be a very significant project, its going to be of a size and scope that is going to be bigger than what we have done downtown in terms of the amount of work that we are doing,” Peterson said.

THat work is expected to consist of complete renovations of intersections, sidewalks, and parking spaces along West Walnut street.

“The task force and the city recognize the complexity of the work that needs to happen on Walnut street and wanted to avail the city of the best professional advice that we can get with respect to how do we allocate the right of way and what do we do with the utilities and baring utilities , what do we do in terms of storm water management in that corridor,” Johnson City commissioner Joe Wise said.

Johnson City commissioner Joe Wise heads up the West Walnut street task force. He says tax payer dollars budgeted to hire the consultant is money that will be well spent.

“I am confident that increased economic activity on West Walnut street that will result from the public investment will yield greater return than the public investment,” Wise said.

“We are going to have a number of community meetings and make sure that everybody gets a chance to voice their opinion on what they would like to see.”

The major projected is also expected to bridge the gap between ETSU and downtown Johnson City. City leaders say the hiring of a consultant for the master plan and the actual planning could take anywhere from 6 to 8 months.

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