complete the loop
Bridge Donation Helps Friends of Shelby "Complete the Loop"

May 5, 2020

We are proud to announce that we will be donating the construction of a pedestrian bridge to Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms, a community-based nonprofit that helps care for East Nashville’s Shelby Park and Shelby Bottoms. The pedestrian bridge will be built in tandem with our rehabilitation of two vehicular bridges in the park, which broke ground on May 5, 2020.

Shelby Park’s Master Plan calls for a separated walking loop around Sevier Lake; and while the park has created two-thirds of a mile of separated trail, a one-third mile section still overlaps with vehicular traffic. The pedestrian bridge is a necessary component to complete the one-mile walking loop around the lake and safely separate park visitors on bike and foot from vehicles on the road. 

After being selected by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, to rebuild the Davidson Street and Shelby Park Drive vehicular bridges, the BELL team met with Rebecca Ratz, Executive Director of Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms. It was then we learned of the park’s need for the additional trail section and decided to build a pedestrian bridge across the stream at the north end of Sevier Lake while on site to help them complete the loop – at no cost to the organization.

“We are so grateful to BELL for their generous donation to our park,” said Rebecca Rbatz, Executive Director of Friends of Shelby Bottoms Park and Bottoms. “This bridge eliminates a significant safety hazard by giving walkers and bikers a dedicated trail that is separate from traffic on the roadway.”

BELL has provided construction services across Nashville and the Southeast for 50 years and has significant experience building innovative projects and bridges, such as the AT&T (Batman) Building, the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge. 

“BELL has proudly called Middle Tennessee home for 50 years. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2020, we remain committed to our community while building landmark buildings and bridges that are part of the fabric of Nashville,” said Keith Pyle, president of BELL. “It’s important to our team to contribute to the communities where we live and work, and we are particularly excited that this donation will help keep visitors to one of our community’s most beloved parks safe.”


Update: Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms raised more than $15,000 to help complete the loop during The Big Payback!


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