Most of the asphalt has now been removed from the 100 Block of S. Gay Street and utility work is continuing.
A good bit of the work being accomplished now is under the sidewalk on the west side of the street and involves removing the interior walls separating the businesses and examining support structures and utilities. The existing support structures are in need of reinforcement or, in some cases, replacement. This work has, and will for a while yet, create some dust and noise and we are working with businesses to minimize any intrusion by working after hours and around their schedules as best we can.
It was very interesting to walk up the old steps (which are in terrible shape) below the Jackson Avenue ramp, and traverse almost all the way to Nama under the sidewalk. Basement areas are under much of the old, original sidewalk as well and some panels of glass block are evident even in that sidewalk particularly around the Unarmed Merchant location.
Sometime in the next week the work under the existing sidewalk will shift to the east side beginning near the Emporium. This area is much wider and open so it will be interesting to contrast this section with the west side of the street.
Gas crews are scheduled to begin some work near Vine early next week.
All permits are in place and hopefully we can begin hauling away excavated material next week, including the material currently down on the Jackson Avenue parking lot.
We met with KPD this week to discuss security options for the parking lot and I felt that meeting was very productive. Lighting,fencing, and general maintenance are some areas to work on further. The parking apparatus at the entrance to the parking lot is scheduled to be removed and signage is being discussed and designed.
Parking and loading/unloading continue to be areas of concern but so far it does not seem to have caused any problems we have not been able to overcome.
We are hoping for a big crowd for First Friday and the Contractor is making provisions to help as much as he can and we are grateful for their ongoing consideration. I have worked with them for several months now and I am confident that they will do the very best they can do to make this project work out for everyone involved.
Thanks to those who attended our meeting on April 28 and to Cheryl and the folks at the Emporium for hosting us.