Thursday, October 29, 2009

Construction Update - October 29, 2009

Fire Street Alley construction has now been basically completed and really looks good. A little work remains on the sidewalk and entrance area. The Contractor did a fine job, I think, of managing the concerns of the folks utilizing that pathway (see below) with minimal inconvenience.

The work on the 200 Block of S. Gay Street is progressing as we had hoped. Water line installation will begin next week and the sewer line extension should be finished this week. We are on schedule to begin reconstructing the new sidewalk and roadway in a couple of weeks so this is very good news.

This view (above) of the 200 Block of S. Gay Street is looking north from Summit Hill Drive

This view is from Vine Avenue looking south. Please note that we have moved the office trailer down onto the Jackson Avenue lot for the duration of the project.

Water meter boxes are currently being installed on the 100 Block of S. Gay Street as well as other incidental concrete work. Real progress has been made here as almost all of the utility work is now complete. KUB has their crews working to energize the new electric service in the next few weeks. Work in both the old vaults and the new vaults is continuing.

I am also glad to report that the work on the columns and sidewalks is still on track to occur in a couple of weeks. The Contractor is awaiting a new order for rebar based on the new designs and we will begin as soon is that material is received. The first phase, as we have stated, will begin at the Volunteer Ministry Building and proceed southward probably going 3 to 6 columns at a time. We hope to have the Surveyors transfer those locations of the columns up to the existing sidewalk so everyone can get a feel of the distances between columns. Of course the old sidewalk will be removed as a phase of this project and the column under the sidewalk will be reinforced with concrete. The exploratory digging is all but complete on the west side of S. Gay Street and is continuing on the east side. We are estimating at this time that it may take 2 to 3 weeks per section of sidewalk for completion. After this first bit of work is completed, however, we hope to provide a good estimate so folks can know when the work will occur in front of their residence or business. I will be getting with folks on the west side next week in an effort to understand any optimal times for our work as the removal phase will be quite disruptive, probably taking 4 hours or so. I think folks will be surprised when the first section of sidewalk is completed at just how much wider and nicer this will be. This new construction, coupled with the road and sidewalk completion in the 200 Block, should give everyone a real sense of the completed project.

We are now also moving over into the eastern sidewalk area with exploratory digging and other types of work. This area is proving to be much better as far as column location and strength and general conditions. The Contractor has punched his way out on the east side onto lower Jackson Avenue as depicted in the picture below. Debris for the digging and other excavation is being routed through here for disposal. It is also interesting to note the condition of the Jackson Avenue ramps in this picture. Note the deteriorating condition of the concrete at the top of the picture and the quick fix required to stabilize the condition.

The above view is of the eastern sidewalk showing both the existing sidewalk and facade and the lower 1919 section taken from the stairway on the old WNOX property leading to the units above the Emporium. The debris on the lower sidewalk is from the removal of the interior walls separating the old sidewalk into rooms as also occurred on the west side of the street.

Thanks for all the well wishes and encouragement from folks on the block on my return. It was greatly appreciated and as always, thanks for your interest in the Streetscapes Project.
I plan to schedule another meeting before Thanksgiving so I hope to see you all there.

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