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.

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