Friday, May 29, 2009

Construction Update

Utility work is continuing on the 100 block this week as the remaining electrical vault work is being completed. Work on the storm drain system has also started.

Most of the excavated material has now been hauled off and we will being hauling off material from 'Mount Jackson' in the near future.

Testing of the soils and other components needed to finish the structural design of the sidewalks is also underway and is mostly completed as well.

This is a picture of the entryway to the western area under the sidewalk taken from the tract of land northeast of the Jackson Avenue parking lot. The Contractor makes certain that this entrance is locked each evening. In addition, the Contractor has covered the unsecured areas under the sidewalk areas as an additional safety measure.

You may have noticed the KPD Skywatch unit placed on the Jackson Avenue parking lot this week. This unit is equipped with remote control cameras as well as being manned as needed. We continue to work with KPD on security measures for the area and are grateful for their thoughtfulness in helping avoid any problems.

This is a picture of the underground area from the lower sidewalk looking south toward Vine Street.

We will be discussing additional advertising opportunities with CBID for the businesses on S. Gay Street in the near future.

We continue to make progress on this project and appreciate the understanding of all of the folks on the 100 Block while we tackle the many unusual challenges.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Construction Update

Drilling has now been completed on the western sidewalk. Only two bore holes were drilled instead of the three proposed. Environmental firm S&ME did this work for us to help evaluate conditions for the structural work to be done for the sidewalk reconstruction. Our consultant, Vaughn and Melton will take those results and recommend a course of action for the City to review.

In the meantime, mainly utility work is continuing .

The work at Vine has been mostly completed for now but more will need to be done in the future which will necessitate the complete closure of a small portion of Vine at its intersection with S. Gay Street for a brief period of time. We will give ample notice when we schedule that bit of work and will have a traffic control plan in place which will involve designating Vine Street as 2 way.

Excavated material is continuing to be removed from the site and we are very close to being able to remove the stored material from Jackson Avenue.

The City has removed the non-functional chain length fencing for the Jackson Avenue parking lot and we hope to have further enhancements in the future, including lighting and fencing and increased security.

The Contractor has informed me that they will observing the Memorial day holiday on Monday so no work will be going on at that time.

Discussions have been held with Comcast and KUB concerning extending Comcast services into the western side of the 100 block of Gay Street and I am hopeful that this will be completed in short order.

As always, we appreciate everyone's patience and understanding.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Underground pics

This is a pic taken under the sidewalk on the 100 block of S. Gay Street near Unarmed Merchants and shows glass panels in the older sidewalk which provided lighting for basement areas under the pre1919 sidewalk.

This is a pic looking south from the western sidewalk and shows what may be an original storefront.

This is a pic of what may be one of the old underground storefronts on the western side of S. Gay Street looking north. The headroom here is low which probably contributed to the preservation of this space.

This pic is taken on the old sidewalk on the 100 block of S. Gay Street on the western side, looking south.

Glass Block panels

This is a pic of the original glass panel in the sidewalk on the 100 block of S. Gay Street. These glass panels provided illumination for the older sidewalk below.

This is a pic of the only original glass panel looking up from the old pre-1919 sidewalk.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Construction Update

The test drilling through the sidewalk began this morning. A pedestrian pathway has been created around the drill rig for sidewalk access. This first bore hole is around the middle of the block. Yesterday we reported that the plan was to begin closer to Volunteer Ministry but the decision was made this morning to start at this location instead.

Work on a waterline is still scheduled to occur on Monday at 3pm. I have been assured that one lane of Vine will remain open which should accommodate both folks using the parking lot and the valet parking needed for the restaurants.

A protective fence has also been erected as excavation continues.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Construction Update

Demolition work is continuing in the 100 Block and excavated material is being hauled off. This work may take another couple of weeks as we work around the ongoing utility work.

Vine Street will be partially closed beginning 3:00 pm Monday for a couple of days to install a water line. Pedestrian traffic will be maintained and clearly marked so folks can know the sidewalk is still opened. Deliveries will be accommodated as well. More work will be done at this intersection in the future and we are working on a plan and a timeline to try to mitigate any problems. Any outages will follow the normal KUB protocols including 48 hour notice.

Work has slowed a bit while we investigate the structural integrity of the columns under the sidewalk since these columns are almost 100 years old.

We plan to drill some bore holes beginning Friday which will necessitate closing small portions of the sidewalk. The three locations to be bored are currently marked on the sidewalk with an X in black. The first is planned for Friday morning in front of Volunteer Ministry. Each boring may take up to four hours to complete. A pedestrian pathway will be provided around the drill rig while this work continues.

Hopefully this will go smoothly and we can make some decisions in regard to structural issues so the project can keep on schedule.

We had an unfortunate issue occur on site this afternoon when a piece of concrete flew off the bucket of the excavating equipment and cracked the window at Slamdot. We immediately stopped all excavation work and called in a glass replacement company. The glass should be replaced today. We have been fortunate so far but to insure nothing like this happens again, the Job Superintendent has ordered that a safety plan including a protection fence be erected before work resumes. Our apologies to Sean and the folks at Slamdot. They were very gracious to us. We are very lucky to have such understanding folks on the 100 Block.

Some work under the sidewalk on the east side is also continuing, with a KUB vault to be removed as the next phase.

As always, thanks to all the folks who are working hard to make this project work out for everyone.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Circa 1920 Photo Comparison

This photo was taking approximately in the 1920s of North Gay Street looking south with the Emporium Building (with Hall-Tate Clothing Co.) in left foreground. PHOTO SOURCE: Thompson Photograph Collection which is part of the Knox County Public Library Calvin M. McClung Digital Collection.

Here is the same view in April 2009.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Construction Update

Work is continuing this week in removing the hardscape from the 100 block. We hope to finish up this work in the next week or so.

KUB is continuing their work on electrical, gas, and waterlines as well. A gas line is scheduled for excavation in the next week which will cross State St. (W. Vine to some) and also into Vine Street itself. I also believe a water line is due for some additional work at the same time. Any disruptions of service will be at night and will follow the standard notification procedure for KUB with 48 hour notice.

Traffic controls will be in place so we hope to minimize any problems.

You may have also noticed concrete being poured along the western side of S. Gay Street and this is flowable fill being installed to encase the waterline to prevent future damage when we begin the actual roadway repair.

Now that we have begun working under the sidewalk on the west side of the street, we are realizing the complexity of the project. To that end we are taking the time to better understand the structural issues associated with the rebuilding of the sidewalk and are awaiting further testing and recommendation from our structural engineers. This will delay our sidewalk work at least one month so, instead of possibly working on the northern sidewalks in the next few weeks, it is more likely to occur no earlier than mid June.

We have also started the excavation of the dividing walls under the eastern sidewalks and hope to have that bit of work done in the next week or so.

With all of the rain, we have experienced some issues with drainage and we are taking steps to rectify any situations that may be caused.

We were informed that the advertising sign at Jackson had been blocked by construction signage and we have taken steps to have those removed so the sign is visible.

We met with folks in the last week concerning the Jackson Avenue parking lot and continue to work to improve this lot both for security and also for general maintenance.

We continue to thank everyone for their patience throughout this complicated project and welcome any comments or suggestions anyone might have.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Gay Street Underground pic

This is a view of the underground area on the west side taken from somewhere near Dewhirst Properties looking back toward Jackson Avenue. On the right, in the area showing utility boxes, is the retaining wall under the street itself and on the left, then is the face of the buildings. The pillars are the supports for the sidewalk.