Thursday, April 30, 2009

Construction Update

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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Construction meeting April 28, 2009


April 28, 2009
100 Block Construction meeting
5:00pm at the Emporium Building on S. Gay Street

1. Call to order
2. Review of work to date
3. Discussion of next phase of construction
4. Other issues
5. Next meeting date
6. Adjourn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Construction Update

Folks have been very interested in looking at the now exposed trolley rail system. These will be likely visible for a few more days. At our meeting today we discussed methods of keeping down the dust through the duration of the project. This will be done using water, at least for the short term.

Evaluations continue of the under the sidewalk structures and work is planned there in the next week or so.

Delivery issues are still a concern but we hope that this will work out as delivery trucks begin to understand the limitations.

It is hoped that the asphalt removal portion of the work can be accomplished by the end of the week. At that point, the rails, concrete, and timbers will be excavated down to the original fill material which consisted of river rock.

Much utility work remains and when the 100 block is down to the fill material surface, those utility service lines will be able to be definitively located for repair of replacement.

The sign announcing the businesses on Gay Street should be up shortly.

The upcoming Rossini Festival schedule was discussed as well as the continuing Sundown in the City series of concerts.

Sadly, we learned that some cars were broken into on the Gay Street Viaduct over night.

The next Construction update meeting is to be held on April 28, 2009 at 5:00pm at the Emporium.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Construction Update

The 100 Block of Gay Street is now closed and the Contractor is in the process of taking up the asphalt. It is very windy there today but water to being used to keep down the dust.

Sometime tomorrow would probably be an excellent time for anyone wishing to take photos of the old trolley line as much of it should be exposed then. You can see that in some places today.

The advertising signs have been sent to the City Traffic Shop for installation on barricades and should be in place soon.

Discussions continue regarding a sign designating parking on Jackson Avenue as well as some signs along the detour route. A new map is also posted at the City web site showing the detour route.

KPD is also working on additional security measures for the Jackson Avenue Parking lot.

The parking spaces along State Street have been bagged and labeled "Special Permit Only- Tow Away Zone". These have been designated primarily for residential loading and unloading. This program is administered through Tony Vandergriff of the City Engineering Department at 215-6100.

We are continuing to discuss other parking issues, particularly temporary parking on the Gay Street Viaduct as some have suggested here.

The weekly construction meeting will occur tomorrow so more will be posted then.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jackson Avenue

Jackson Avenue has now reopened.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Construction update

The big news of today is that the contractors and engineers have now figured out a way to avoid the previously announced closure of Jackson Avenue which was to have occurred on Thursday and Friday of this week. Even better news is that we also plan to completely reopen Jackson Avenue on Monday, April 20, 2009.

Of course the 100 Block will also completely close at that time and the removal of the asphalt and pavement will begin. There will probably be a brief period of time, either Monday afternoon or Tuesday, where the old trolley track will be completely exposed. Of course this too will be removed as part of the reconstruction. I plan to try to get some pictures and will post them here when that happens.

Hopefully our promotional signage will be able to be installed on Monday as well. For anyone interested, Martha Kopp of Exibitor Source there on the 100 block also has some brochures to be distributed to folks announcing the businesses on the 100 block and promoting the finished product.

I will post a new detour map which reflects this new info regarding closure and will be removing my previous post concerning links to maps to avoid confusion.

Jackson Avenue will require some additional work but not until the 100 Block of Gay Street is reopened.

The contractor also expects to begin some work on the sidewalks next week, beginning at the Volunteer Ministry building. Much of the work to begin with will occur under the sidewalk as the Contractor breaks through the interior walls so access for the total area under the sidewalk can be achieved. Other work will be needed as well so the demolition of the sidewalks can begin. This work may be a little noisy so please bear with us. If any tenant or building owner has not secured their wall under the sidewalk yet, please do so and of course remove anything that might be in the way or could be damaged. If you know of a neighbor or owner who does not keep up with this project, please help us by informing them of this work in the underground spaces.

We hope to finally have resolution to the materials handling issue on Friday so we can begin hauling off excavated material and can also begin to dismantle "Mount Jackson" on the Jackson Avenue parking lot.

The contractor was kind enough to bring in one of his tractor trailers to experiment on the possibility of using State St. to the 200 block of Gay for loading and unloading and we are happy to report that the turn worked out. His truck is not the very largest available but is close so hopefully that will work out.

We believe we have a solution for folks moving in and out as well and I will post more on that when I am sure of all of the details.

As far as timing for the project, we are still on schedule and when we begin the sidewalk work and get the pavement on the 100 block taken up, I hope we can begin to make some reasonable guesses as to when the sidewalk in front of each business will be impacted.

Someone posed a question as to Vine St. going to two way and that is going to happen at some point due to utility work.

Various events downtown in the next few weeks were noted so everyone could be prepared.

Last, best wishes to Leigh Burch and his new management folks with the former Club 106 now to be known as Southbound Bar and Grill in the Old City.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stairway and Security

The stairway from lower Jackson Avenue in front of Heuristic Workshop is now reopened.

Also, KPD has informed me that everything is in place to purchase and install state of the art security cameras for the parking lot on Jackson Avenue. We are also working on signage for the parking lot as well as a plan to make the lot more attractive to folks on the 100 Block and their visitors.

Promotional signage to be placed at either end of the 100 Block closure has been ordered and should be in place soon.

Thanks to those attending our meeting last night. The next meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2009 at 5:00pm at the Emporium for an update on construction and other issues.

Jackson Avenue Closure

Since the 100 Block closure is now scheduled to occur on Monday, April 20,2009 there is some additional utility work to be completed on Jackson Ave.which will necessitate the complete closure of Jackson Ave. in front of Volunteer Ministry. Continued electrical work is ongoing, but specifically, a waterline must be replaced which spans all of Jackson Ave. This work will take place on Thursday April, 16 and Friday April 17. Jackson Avenue will then be partially reopened late Friday April 17. Maps will be posted on the City website soon and I will also provide a link here.
Basically, folks will be able to travel both ways from Central in the Old City up to Gay St. until the end of the week and then turn either direction onto Gay Street but will not be able to proceed to Broadway. From Broadway, travel is 2 way up to the City parking lot on Jackson Ave. but will be closed just beyond that point. Of course the sidewalk will be open for folks parking and walking up To S. Gay Street.

On Monday, Jackson will be partially closed in front of Volunteer Ministry such that travel is allowed from Central and the Old City, down Jackson Ave. all the way to Broadway or turning north onto Gay Street at the Gay Street Viaduct. Traffic will be limited from Gay Street to Jackson westbound only until you reach the parking lot where two way travel is again available.

I realize it is confusing so I encourage you to view the map.
100 Block S. Gay Street Road Closure Starting April 20 [PDF]

Thanks for your ongoing patience.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Metro Pulse Article

Jack Neely of the Metro Pulse has written an article in this weeks addition concerning the 'Underground' area along Gay Street.

It is a very informative article but I wanted to make it clear that I am very much in favor of this project. I am not sure the article, although accurate, came out that way.

As you all know, I deal with Engineers, Inspectors, and Construction folks often and I look at the complexities with that view.

That being said, and as David Dehirst pointed out, we can find a way if the desire is there and I will assist in any way I can.

As was pointed out, we are installing new glass blocks now and are removing interior walls to make this project more feasible in the future and when we begin the design work on the Jackson Avenue ramps, that will very much be a consideration.

Construction Update

Much of the discussion continues to center on materials handling which greatly impacts the timing of the construction. We know for sure that we will have to separate out at least some of the material but those details, and the permits required, are being worked out. Once that is accomplished we can also begin to haul off, as the Contractors call it, "Mount Jackson".

The 100 Block of Gay Street will be closed beginning on April 20, 2009. It is estimated that it will take one week to take up the asphalt. Measures to control dust are under discussion and will likely involve several different methods.

A press release will be going out soon announcing this closure which is scheduled to be in effect for 12 months. A revised detour map will be on the City web site shortly detailing this closure.

Sidewalk work will probably begin shortly thereafter, most likely beginning over at the Volunteer Mission site and proceeding south.

The partial closure of Jackson will remain for another six weeks, hopefully less. The work will be shifting over at some point and will create the reverse of the current partial closure on Jackson. When that occurs, Jackson will become two way once again from Gay Street to Central and one way from the parking lot on Jackson Avenue to Gay Street with left turn only onto Gay Street. A map will also be shown on the City web site when that occurs.

This work at Jackson is needed due to the extensive electrical upgrades needed in the 100 Block.

The parking lot at Jackson continues to be discussed and I hope to report more on that later. The general condition of the lot, security, and signage are some of the topics.

I am also in discussion with Engineering, KPD, and the Contractor regarding the best way to handle the loading and unloading issues which will occur. We will probably bag some of the meters along State for this purpose and are also discussing possibly making 15 minute parking available in a spot or two on the Gay Street Viaduct.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Terry Snelling of Southern Contractors for all of his help in working out these issues. He attends our meetings and has been fantastic to work with.

As reported yesterday, I have scheduled a meeting on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 5:00pm in the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room on Market Square (about mid block) to discuss the upcoming construction and to also discuss any other issues. I have also scheduled a meeting on Tuesday April 28, 2009 at 5:00 pm at the Emporium to discuss issues after the road is closed.

I have talked to the City about garbage collection during this period and it will be handled as it is today. Folks that take their garbage to the curb will continue to do so, for instance, and we will come and get it there.

All of the events on First Friday seemed to go well so we are all hoping for the best as the project moves forward.

Last, signage is being discussed and hopefully will be ordered and in place near the time of the closure. The current proposal is for an 8'X 4'sign naming the businesses and with a depiction of the finished construction to be placed on a construction barricade at one side of the closure.

Happy Easter to everyone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

100 Block Meeting

I have scheduled a meeting on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 5:00pm at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room on Market Square, to provide an update on our Streetscapes project. Please help get the word out. Thanks


1.) Call to Order
2.) Update on construction to date
3.) Next steps in construction and tentative dates
4.) Other issues
5.) Adjourn

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Construction Update

Electrical work continues to cause concerns as we work through the process of discovering the locations and conditions of the various utilities in the 100 Block.

It is very likely that the 100 Block will now be completely shut down for one year beginning on April 20, 2009.

We had hoped to have Jackson completely reopened at that time but the need for additional electrical work will cause us to have to keep the configuration we are currently using in place for a little longer.

This will allow us to keep the project on schedule.

I will set up a meeting either at the Emporium or Commerce Lofts Conference Room, probably on April 14, 2009 at 5pm. When that date and time is confirmed, I will send out notice to everyone along with a press release. At that meeting, the Contractor and Engineers can describe the next steps.

We are still working on issues related to materials handling but continue to hope that the minor issues left will get worked out soon.

Parking areas for loading/unloading and signage are being discussed in Engineering and we hope to have some proposals for that by the next meeting.

Martha Kopp and her folks at Exhibitor Source by Skyline have created a very nice sign that she is circulating among folks on the 100 Block for review which is to be placed on construction barricades at either end of the 100 Block. These signs will likely be 4'X 8', color with the finished rendering of the completed 100 Block and current businesses listed. Thanks to Martha and Michelle at CBID for their work in getting this done. Other promotions will hopefully be planned in the future.

Many events are going on downtown this month and particularly this weekend and the Contractor is taking measures to work with us and for that we are very grateful.

Also best wishes to Stanton Webster at Nama who is to be married this weekend.

Also, congratulations to Jeffery Nash and the Crown and Goose in the Old City on their one year anniversary.