Friday, March 27, 2009

100 Block of Gay Street Parking

Electrical work is progressing quickly in the 100 block so much so that there is now a possibility that the remainder of the parking on the west side of S. Gay Street may be needed by next Wednesday. Most of the parking is already being utilized for traffic and this would take the rest of the available parking. Meters will begin being bagged early next week if it is needed at this time. I will post more when I know for sure.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Construction Office Trailor

Southern Constructors asked for and was granted permission to place an office trailor on the 200 block of S. Gay Street in the area formally used by KAT.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Construction update

Work at Jackson Avenue has gone reasonably well. As usual, we have encountered even more utility issues however. This is primarily electrical work which KUB will have to perform. No electrical outages are expected but this will cause a shift in the work schedule. This work will be primarily at night.

Jackson Avenue will now likely be reopened by April 6, 2009. The excavation will be filled in and steel plates will be in place for traffic.

Work will then continue in the 100 block which will necessitate removal of the remaining parking on the east side of Gay Street near the Sterchi Building. Through traffic will be maintained in the 100 block as well as the 200 block. A mid-block crossing area from sidewalk to sidewalk will be created probably near the Sterchi Building.

If all goes according to plan, Gay Street will then completely close, possibly by April 13 but more likely on April 20. We will be better able to project next week as this hinges on utility work. Of course this closure is slated to take one year.
We will send out a press release when we are confident of the date.

The Contractor now intends to take up the concrete and pavement first which may take a month or so. They have assured us that they will have a plan in place to handle dust issues. Vibration damage from construction has also been an issue and the Contractor is striving to find the right balance between getting the work done on schedule while assuring no damage to adjoining structures. The Contractor is responsible for any damage so they are taking steps to insure that this does not happen. Sidewalk work will then follow probably starting at the Rescue Mission site.
Each section of sidewalk may take as long as two weeks to complete.

The subcontractors asked today about the working hours allowed and they were told 7am to 7pm as per our contract.

The material handling issue has been resolved and a plan is in place for disposal. Interestingly, they did not know what to think when the first hole or two hit trolley rails near the surface and later holes did not hit rails and timber for 15 feet or so. This was the very old trolley rail which was just filled over for construction in 1919.

CBID and others are continuing to work on promotional signage as well as advertising for the 100 Block. Other signage is also being discussed and we will post a detour map when the 100 Block closure begins.

The contractors were made aware of the many events occurring in downtown Knoxville in April and I would encourage folks to let us know of any events so we can inform our work crews so they can be prepared.

We are continuing to discuss issues related to the parking lot on Jackson Avenue particularly as it relates to security.

I will try to schedule another meeting possibly for April 7th so folks can be updated and share their thoughts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jackson Avenue partial closure clarification

A friend residing at Fire Street Lofts posed a question regarding the one-way designation on Jackson Ave. from the Old City to Gay Street and wanted to know if folks exiting Fire Street Lofts could turn either direction.

The one-way designation only begins beyond the Fire Street Lofts parking area. I am revising the map online to more clearly depict that traffic movement. I am sorry for any confusion.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Construction update

As you may have noticed, work is being completed for now on the 200 Block of Gay Street and traffic controls are in place for the partial closure of Jackson Avenue. Equiment is being moved today to begin the installation of the next electrical vault. Most of the work this week has involved finishing up electrical work in the 200 block of Gay and preparation for the reopening.

We are continuing to work towards location of all utilities. Late last week we excavated a few holes to determine elevation and proximity of some of the utilities. KUB and the contractor are having to work out some routing issues based on this new knowledge. We also learned from this exercise that the pavement is at least 18" thick in some areas.

Soil and material testing is ongoing and we now have back enough results to formulate a plan of action in consultation with TDEC.

We are also continuing to discuss security issues at the Jackson Aveue parking lot with KPD and the City Service Dept. and are woking on both short term and long term solutions. KUB has been notified about the non-functioning streetlights in the area.

The CBID is ordering signage and is continuing to work on promotions for the 100 Block.

Partial Closure of Jackson Avenue

The 200 Block of S.Gay Steet will be reopened today. Traffic controls are already in place for the partial closure of Jackson Avenue.

Click here to view a map of the construction.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Parking Meters on Gay Street Viaduct

We have discovered that three of the parking meters are not functioning properly and we are taking steps to get those repaired.

Construction Update

Work is finishing up on the 200 Block of S.Gay Street and we expect to reopen that section on Wednesday, March 18. The Contractor will be installing traffic control for the next phase of work which will include a partial closure of Jackson Avenue, also occurring next Wednesday, March 18. We finally got through that huge boulder and we thank folks on the 100 block for their patience. This was unexpected and required a very large and noisy peice of equipment to basically chisel out the excavation.

Jackson Avenue will not be closed before the 2oo block of S. Gay Street is reopened.

This partial closure will involve the elimination of 4 parking spaces on the west side of S. Gay St. near the intersection with Jackson Avenue and also the elimination of six parking spaces on the east side of S. Gay Street near the Emporium. The Commercial Loading Zone across Jackson from the Emporium will also be needed for this utility work.

This is an improvement in traffic flow from our original plan which called for the intersection of Jackson at Gay to be completely shut down. The electrical vault is painted in the roadway at Jackson if you would like to get an idea of the scope. Also, a small portion of northbound Gay Street will be closed in front of the Emporium for utility work. A lane shift will occur in this area which is the reason for the elimination of parking at those areas.

The result will be that Jackson Avenue will be one-way only from Central Avenue in the Old City westbound. Jackson Avenue eastbound from Broadway will have to turn either south to the 100 block or north toward Regas Restaurant at the intersection with S. Gay Street. Gay Street traffic will be able to travel in both directions from Summit Hill on through Jackson Avenue and beyond. A right turn eastbound toward the Old City on Jackson will not be possible, however. This work should take four to six weeks.

Now that I have thoroughly confused everyone, I plan to have a map on the City web site as soon as possible.

We have moved up this work because of delays in utility work at State and Gay. An AT&T line must be encased in concrete and they have been delayed getting to the site so this work will occur later in the project.

We hope to have the issue with removal of all the construction debris settled in the next few days so we will not have to stockpile at our parking lot on Jackson.

At our meeting Wed. evening we discussed signage and advertising and the issues around loading and unloading. The suggestion was made to use some of the businesses on the 100 block for signage and advertising and we will pass that suggestion on to the CBID. The Contractor offered to work with all parties on these issues as they arise.

Issues surrounding parking and police enforcement also had discussion and we will get with KPD to discuss further. We have asked that KUB check all street lights on Jackson including the parking area for public safety. I have asked that the stairway at Jackson be repaired and reopened the first of April. City Engineering has sent a work order to examine all parking meters, particularly those on the Gay Street Viaduct to insure they are working properly. The "Police Only" sign will be moved so it is not so high off the ground and we are discussing markings on the ground.

Thanks to Leigh Burch for the use of his conference room for this meeting.

I met this week also with Kelley Segars to discuss bicycle detours and other issues. Kelley is working on a detour map for bicyclists as well which will be posted at her website at MPC and also on the City web site.

We did not set a time or place for the next meeting but it will likely occur in a couple of weeks. We will send out a press release and also post on the City website as well as this blog when that meeting is scheduled.

Monday, March 9, 2009

March First Friday

I was downtown for awhile for the First Friday event and it seemed to me to go quite well. The pleasant weather and exciting events made for a nice atmosphere.

Thanks to Southern Constructors for having both sidewalks opened as promised and for also securing their work area to avoid any accidents.

Streetscapes Construction Update Meeting

Streetscapes Construction Update Meeting
March 11, 2009 6:00 pm
Commerce Lofts Conference Room


1. Review of construction for March 4 thru March 11

2. Anticipated construction for the coming week

3. Signage and Advertising

4. Other topics
· Valet Parking
· Loading/unloading
· Jackson Avenue Parking

5. Questions/ Issues

6. Next Meeting date

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Construction Update

We met for our weekly meeting yesterday morning with the engineers and construction team and mostly discussed the utility work that is ongoing in the 200 Block of S.Gay Street. As you may have noticed, the Contractor has hit solid rock in the excavation at the intersection of S. Gay Street and State Street. This was unexpected and is taking a bit of time to remove. Also, we have come to realize the extent of the numerous utility conflicts in that area. The AT&T line is particularly problematic in that area. Their representative was at our meeting and we have asked them to protect their line by encasing it in concrete as several of the other utilities will be below their location. We should have an idea next week as to what that may entail but likely at least two weeks worth of work. This will involve basically digging a trench from a point just east of State Street to a point in the intersection of Vine. We are hopeful that we will be able to place steel plates across State so it can remain open as much as possible through this period. While this work goes on we will be finishing up the work on the 2oo Block. Summit Hill has now reopened and that work completed except for final repaving.

We got some better news on our soil testing and have worked out a solution so the excavated material will not have to be rehandled. This will involve drilling six bore holes in the 100 Block so we can know we have similar material as what we have previously excavated and tested and can handle it in a similar preapproved manner. This should take 2 days and will probably begin next Tuesday. Traffic controls will be in place around the drill rig throughout this process.

You may notice all of the markings in the street as Tennessee One Call marks the locations of utilities and also as the Contractor marks out their areas for future excavations.

The work on Jackson will follow this work and we are exploring some options there which may allow us to provide better access to the 100 Block during this period.

At the 100 Block Review meeting held Tuesday, March 3, we went over construction to date but also discussed the issues of loading/unloading, signage and advertising, utility work, and security.

The CBID is working on signage and should order some signs in the next few days. We also discussed better signage as far as detours go and some signage is being ordered for that as well. Valet parking signage was discussed and we are working on accommodating that need.

The next update meeting is scheduled for 6:00 pm on Wed. March 11, at the Commerce Lofts Conference Room.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Streetscapes Review Agenda

Streetscapes Review Agenda
March 3, 2009

1) Review of work completed to date - Robin Tipton, City Engineering and Southern Constructors

2) Anticipated work for the coming week and tentative timeline for completion of work on the 200 Block of S. Gay Street- Robin Tipton, City Engineering and Southern Constructors

3) Signage and Advertising- Michelle Hummel, CBID

4) Other issues
a) Loading and unloading
b) Security
c) Other

5) Next Meeting - Wednesday March 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm at Commerce Lofts Conference Room