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Mayor, Public Works Open Korean Veterans Boulevard Extension

4/18/2013

New Extension Improves Access to SoBro

aerial view of the Korean Veterans Boulevard roundabout near the Music City Center

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean with Metro Public Works today opened the Korean Veterans Boulevard Extension, a new half-mile road that improves access to the area south of downtown.  The KVB Extension connects the Gateway Bridge to Eighth Avenue through SoBro on the south side of the Music City Center. The new convention center opens May 19-20.

“The KVB extension, together with the Music City Center, is spurring development in SoBro and will be key in extending the vitality of our downtown district into that area,” Mayor Dean said. “It also expands important transportation connections into downtown from the interstate. This new boulevard knits together Nashville’s urban fabric by providing a sense of community between downtown and SoBro.”

The KVB Extension is a “Complete Street” that includes bike lanes and new bike racks, wide sidewalks, bus stops, landscaping, rain gardens, recycling receptacles and LED lighting.

“This project includes the city’s first dual-lane roundabout, which includes innovative road striping and signage to help drivers navigate the circular road,” said Randy Lovett, Public Works Acting Director. “Sidewalks and landscaping, and, soon, public art, will make this roundabout an iconic part of the SoBro landscape.”

The celebration included live music performances by three members of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Richard Leigh (“Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”), Rory Bourke (“The Most Beautiful Girl”) and Dickey Lee (“The Keeper of the Stars”). The Songwriters Hall of Fame is located at the Music City Center.

Festivities also included a Cyclovia, a Spanish word signifying the temporary closure of a street or network of streets to cars so that they become “open” to people to bike, walk/run and skate. Those attending the celebration were encouraged to ride a Nashville B-cycle to the event.

The $41 million project received funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. Civil Constructors began construction on the project in December, 2011.  The KVB project team was led by Metro Public Works Engineering Division.  Project members included Metro Water Services, NES, Music City Center, Omni Hotel Nashville, Parsons Brinkerhoff, Hawkins Partners, Civil Constructors, Stansell Electric, and Florence & Hutcheson.

About the Songwriters

Richard Leigh is a three-time Grammy Award nominee and a Grammy Award winner; a two- time CMA Award nominee and a CMA award winner. He is one of only 10 songwriters to receive ASCAP’s “Song of the Century Award.” Richard has written eight No. 1 singles,  including “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” “Somewhere In My Broken Heart,” and “The Greatest Man I Never Knew,” and he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1994.

Dickey Lee has had hit songs in over five decades and is a Grammy and CMA award nominee and ACM Country Song of the Year award winner. He has over 20 BMI performance awards for songs like “She Thinks I Still Care,” “The Door Is Always Open” and “Keeper of the Stars” and is a 1995 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.

Rory Bourke, whose hits include “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World,” “I Know a Heartache When I See One” and “Shadows in the Moonlight” is a three-time ASCAP “Country Songwriter of the Year” and has over 50 performance awards from BMI and ASCAP. He has won the CMA’s triple play award for three No. 1 songs in one year and is a 1989 Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee.