Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Construction Update - October 15, 2009

Fire Street alley has now been completed and I think it looks very good. There remains some work to be done on the sidewalk and alley entrance on the south end. We plan to replace the two panels on either side of the alley entrance since both have been cracked and patched through the years due to utility work.

We plan to begin the planned work on the 200 Block of S. Gay Street as early as today. This complete street closure may take up to three months but our goal is to try to have it substantially finished by Christmas. This will be the finished look with narrowed street and wider sidewalks, etc.

Visibility to the 100 Block form Summit Hill and Gay Street will certainly be enhanced when this is completed. One sidewalk will be open at all times. We plan to begin excavating the west sidewalk as well as the street itself and will probably have that finished by the weekend. A waterline is under the west sidewalk and it must be moved and replaced as part of this project. Pedestrian traffic will be diverted to the eastern sidewalk with signage while this work goes on. When this work is completed, the eastern sidewalk will be taken out and folks can then traverse the new, wider, western sidewalk.

Vine Avenue will remain open at all times throughout this work. After the 2oo Block is reopened, it is possible that we may have to very temporarily close some of Vine Avenue to complete the utility work.

KUB continues to make significant progress with electrical service. The rainy weather has had an effect lately but we are still on target to have the new service energized as we planned. Sometime in the next month we can expect some temporary outages and KUB will be in contact with those affected per their process. Hopefully, I will also be in the loop enough to help notify folks as well.

The construction office trailer (see below) will be moving onto the Jackson Avenue parking lot this week for the duration of the project.

We are moving forward on the purchase of this lot and have taken steps recently to have abandoned vehicles removed. This parking lot is all but full most days as most of you know.

We continue to experience delays on our 100 Block sidewalk and column replacement. The latest setback involves exploratory work we have done on the column support system. You may have noticed in some previous pictures that the columns are setting on some circular caissons under the sidewalk so the issue has been how to reinforce these structures for the new sidewalk. We discovered this past week that two of the columns have no support whatsoever.

As a result of this new information we are having to redesign this expanse. However, we feel that the rest of the design is still good to go and I remain hopeful that we can start in the next month.

My thought is that at some point soon the 200 Block will be completed and also as the 100 Block sidewalks are completed, folks will begin to get a real sense of the finished project as the widened and enhanced sidewalks from Jackson toward Vine are completed and when the western sidewalk is finished folks will once again have a great pathway to the businesses located there.

It is very hard right now to get a feel for how it may look so I am including the picture below. Please notice the fire hydrant near the center of the picture. This hydrant will be near the edge of the sidewalk on the eastern side. It is very hard to visualize here, but when you walk by there take a look at it. I think you will be surprised when you see just how much wider the sidewalk will be there.

After requests concerning parking in the area we plan to take the bags off of the meters on State Street (W. Vine) as early as today. I plan to ask for guidance at the meeting as to the timing of the meters as it has been suggested that we make these meters 15 to 30 minute only.

Also, please realize that these particular four meters will be going away in a few months as work progresses since this piece if the street will be eliminated. We will also be talking about possibly designating the parking space currently signed for KPD on the Gay Street Viaduct as temporary parking with some time period associated.

Please don't forget the 100 Block meeting at 5:30pm on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at the Emporium. I hope to have representatives from KPD, KUB, City Engineering, Southern Constructors, CBID, and other City staff folks there to help with any issues.

I look forward to seeing you then.

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