The American Planning Association designated the Walnut Street Bridge as one of 10 Great Public Spaces for 2013 under the organization's Great Places in America program.
APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planning and planners play in adding value to communities, including fostering economic growth and jobs, news release from the association stated.
APA singled out the Walnut Street Bridge, a unique linear park spanning the Tennessee River, for its history, amenities, connectivity, and citizen support.
The once dilapidated bridge now is a focal point for community events and the link between the city's vibrant North Shore and the Bluff View Arts District, Hunter Museum of American Art, Tennessee Riverwalk and Tennessee Aquarium, the news release states.
"The Walnut Street Bridge is not only a symbol of Hamilton County, both past and present, but also a daily reminder of what makes Hamilton County great -- the partnerships between the public and private sectors," said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger in the release. "Those partnerships have transformed our community and those links are as strong today as this historic link across the Tennessee River."
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said, "The Walnut Street Bridge is an outstanding example of the Chattanooga story. Chattanooga has been transformed over the last few decades - we are now home to a bustling and active downtown, a Gigabit infrastructure, and world class outdoor opportunities. In the middle of it all stands the historic Walnut Street Bridge, a public space that connects our community, improves our local economy and strengthens our unique sense of place," Berke said in the release.
Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press.