Thursday, September 17, 2009

Construction Update - September 17, 2009

As many of you are aware, we have started the reconstruction project for the Fire Street alley. Most of the work will occur during daylight hours so the alley should be available most of the time after hours for foot traffic. At least some of the time, however, the conditions for traversing will not be ideal, especially with the rain events we have been experiencing. The alley functions, in some regard, as a drainage way as well as a travel way. The work is expected to take less than a month.

For those of you who may be reading this now and were unaware of this work I apologize. The decision to begin this work was made only two weeks ago and we tried, through this forum and through some selected phone calls and emails, to let folks know but I have since learned that not everyone was notified. I am thankful that many of you forward my posts to others who have an interest and encourage you all to continue that. I have a list of folks I send notices of the blog updates, usually every Thursday, and if anyone would like to be on that notification list, please let me know at

KUB crews continue to make progress in their work required to energize the newly installed electric service. They have been using two crews at least some of the time and we hope that stays on schedule so we can then move into the 200 Block construction as discussed previously.
We are hopeful that the 200 Block Construction can occur around the first of October.

The complicated process of trying to determine the best way to go about construction of the supporting columns under the sidewalk continues. We cannot begin work on the roadway itself until we also begin the work on the sidewalk because of probable damage to the roadway from the heavy equipment needed for the sidewalk construction.

Everyone associated with the project is as frustrated as the folks on the block that we have not been able, so far, to begin that phase of work on the 100 Block but we all remain hopeful that this work can begin very soon.

On a more positive note, the Engineers tell me we are one third of the way through the project and have accomplished one third of the work and spent one third of the budgeted amount of money so from that perspective we are on target. We have had to completely rephase all of the work, however, from our original plan. Almost all of the utility work has been finished on the 100 Block with this last bit of electric work KUB is doing, and much of the utility work has also been completed on the 200 Block. A few days of utility work remain on Jackson Avenue at the completion of the project.

We have been able to keep traffic flowing on Jackson Avenue although the original plans called for a complete closure. The same is true for Vine Avenue. We have managed to accommodate the influx of folks moving in and out on the 100 Block and have created various crossing points for folks on the block. The willingness of the folks at Southern Constructors to make suggestions and find ways to work for the benefit of the folks on the Block is refreshing and I know everyone is appreciative.

As many of you know, the Contractors, Subcontractors, Engineers and others have been working there almost seven months and I believe most of them feel they have become a small part of the community. I know in our construction meetings, the effect on folks on the block for the various work phases is very much on the mind of everyone in the room. All of the issues from parking to vagrancy are witnessed and shared by those folks. Many of them now frequent the shops and restaurants on the Block and downtown and are looking forward to making this one of the premier areas of the City.

I am very grateful to all of them for continuing to let me know of possible issues and ongoing problems so I can note them here. It has been and is a team effort and I continue to be grateful to folks on the 100 Block for their patience and understanding.

We had an unfortunate occurrence earlier in the week in that a gas line ruptured in the excavation process. This happened right at the lunch hour unfortunately and I was notified immediately. The Construction crews apologized profusely to me although it was just an inadvertent mistake, one of the very few made so far. The repair was made in a couple of hours and the whole event may have lasted three hours.

In closing, we realize the seriousness of timing and are working as hard as we can to resolve all of the issues so we can complete this project as originally scheduled. I must point out once again that the target date for completion is August 2010, which is eleven months from now.

Thanks for your interest.

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