Southland Drive sidewalk project

Construction on the Southland Drive sidewalk project, which spans between Rosemont Garden and Nicholasville Road, is now underway. The project, designed to improve pedestrian safety and to encourage economic activity along the corridor, was completed in spring 2020.


  • Improve pedestrian safety along Southland Drive
  • Provide valuable pedestrian connections to the neighborhoods surrounding Southland Drive
  • Encourage economic activity along the corridor
  • Provide opportunities to create a cohesive brand for the Southland corridor

Project components

  • 120 + new trees, plus shrubs and plants
  • 6’ sidewalks along both sides of Southland Drive, from Rosemont Garden to Nicholasville Road
  • Concrete ditch east of the  railroad overpass will be replaced by a gardenscape
  • A mural on the railroad overpass and 10 temporary art installations along the corridor (coordinated by LexArts)


The plan

Before and after photos

Project documents


  • Digging to relocate gas lines and fiber optic cables
  • Existing trees will be impacted – some will be cut down, others will be relocated or pruned
  • Limited lane closures – focused on non-peak hours; two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times
  • KU will move street lights as needed
  • General construction activity related to the installation of the sidewalks and storm sewers.

Project history

In 2015, the Lexington Department of Planning, Preservation, and Development began exploring the possibility of installing sidewalks along both sides of Southland Drive, from Nicholasville Rd to Rosemont Garden.

In 2016, the City’s Division of Planning worked with the University of Kentucky’s Interior Design, Historic Preservation, and Landscape Architecture programs. As their class project, students explored the history of and design solutions to retrofitting the suburban strip mall. This process has helped inform some of the Southland area improvements.