Sidewalk at deadly area halted by endangered crayfish - WSMV Channel 4

Sidewalk at deadly area halted by endangered crayfish

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Three people have been killed in the last two years walking along Harding Place in Nashville.

The latest tragedy was Monday when a man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver near Tampa Drive. The city has been planning to install sidewalks for years, but it still hasn't happened. And residents want answers.

"I've never seen anything like that before. I was terrified," Kristina Seyer said.

She still can't get the haunting images out of her mind.

"We heard a loud bang and we heard just in time to see some objects rolling down the hill."

September 2010 Penny Johns and her daughter were walking along Harding Place when they were hit. This week, Marc Pullo III was killed along the same stretch.

Seyer said Harding is a dangerous stretch of road.

"A lot of people don't have vehicles to get to and from work or the store so they have no choice but to walk."

"We regret it as much as anyone," said Gwen Glascock with Metro Public Works.

Glascock said they have been planning to install sidewalks in the area since 2010. But two years later they still haven't broken ground. What's the hold up? Glascock said these kind of projects take time.

"We've been working to prepare the plans and design the project, collect all of the data for how much right-of-way would be needed the environment requirements."

The city plans to install a sidewalk from Nolensville Pike to Interstate 24. Last year officials got the $5 million needed to complete the project. But they hit a snag when they learned the endangered Nashville Crayfish lives in the creek where a pedestrian bridge will cross.

"We then had to revise our plans and submit them to the state to show that we would not disturb the creek or the endangered species," Glascock explained.

That didn't sit well with Seyer.

"If there's people out on this road getting killed they shouldn't worry about endangered fish."

Wildlife has since signed off on the project. Now they're waiting for the state.

It's not good enough for Seyer who added, "They're going to have more fatalities, more accidents, more people getting hurt."

Glascock expects the state to approve the plan soon. When it does, the next step is the right-of-way. The city has to purchase about 12 parcels of land.

If everything goes as planned the city hopes to break ground by early next year and complete the project within a little more than a year.

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