The city of Ringgold has approved moving forward to the bidding process for construction of its courthouse streetscape project downtown.

Over the past few months, city officials in Ringgold have discussed and planned upgrades to the downtown block that surrounds the Catoosa County Courthouse in order to make the area more appealing and more accessible.

Ringgold officials first introduced the plan in November and have since received the blessing of the county’s Board of Commissioners to make the adjustments around the courthouse.

During Ringgold’s two April council meetings the board gave updates on the progress of the plan and approved putting it out to bid on April 22.

“We’ve been working on this project for some time,” said City Manager Dan Wright. “The DOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) permit was the last piece of the puzzle in order to get this ready to go out to bid. We expect this to bid out somewhere in the $335,000 range and just wanted to make sure that the council was prepared to move forward before we start that next phase.”

In addition to the blessing from county commissioners, Wright says courthouse staff was also consulted about the changes when the plan was being devised by CTI Engineering.

“We’ve run this through the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners and the judges and folks that work out of the courthouse to make sure they didn’t have any issues,” Wright said. “Everybody, not just DOT, is in agreement that this plan will work. It will provide additional parking. It’ll beautify the area, and it will make the pedestrian area downtown so much better.”

Both Wright and the council envision the streetscape to be an extension of the downtown streetscape of a few years ago that revitalized the historic downtown block from Tennessee Street to Depot Street.

Wright says the new plan will hopefully temper speeds and traffic issues along Nashville Street.

“We want to calm that traffic and make people realize that when you hit Maple Street, you’re in a special place, so slow down,” Wright said.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009.