By EMILY R. WEST
Construction of the Bicentennial Park overlook is still underway along with other upgrades to the 19-acre park on the edge of Hillsboro and Fifth Avenue.
In orange spray paint, the word “danger” is scrawled over a piece of plywood, barring entry to the new Harpeth River overlook at Bicentennial Park. The entry is also blocked by a plastic, yellow barricade and caution tape wrapped around the polls.
According to the City of Franklin public outreach specialist, Monqiue McCullough, contractors are tweaking a few issues.
“The city has been working with the contractor and structural engineer to analyze, design, and install some additional structural supports that were not originally fabricated during the overlook’s construction,” McCullough said. “We anticipate opening in mid to late April.”
Just before the overlook sits the vacated pavilions on the corner of North Margin Street. It usually sits empty, sans the occasional skateboarder rolling through. City officials also said it’s all on the to-do list for upgrades, but no concrete date has been finalized.
“The pavilion at Bicentennial is in the Tier II capital investment projects list,” McCullough said. “The Board of Mayor and Alderman approved the schematic design, and if they approve it to be part of the next tier of projects, we will contract construction documents and bid.”
According to the project master plan, it will become a pavilion and plaza. Capital Investment Project draft documents show the entire project for the pavilion totaling at $1.9 million. If aldermen choose to fully fund the project, it would span over three fiscal years.
For all of this to take place, officials would have to update the current master plan for Bicentennial and design for construction of a paving system. It would also mean design for ground cover for the park surrounding the pavilion. The east side is dubbed the Worley property, and the city would have to purchase it.
According to the capital investment document plans, design and construction documents will include soil testing, stormwater management needs, vehicular load requirements, local regulations, and flood restrictions.
The $1.9 million would be considered a modest expense for the park system. In the next 10 years, projects for parks range up to $38.1 million.