Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Construction Update - January 28, 2010

The construction of the 100 Block and the 200 Block of S. Gay Street is really starting to move on now and we are establishing, I believe, a really good rhythm with the work crews. This week we are working on the curb and entrance to Fire Street and are ready to pour the crosswalk in the 200 Block along Summit Hill. We are also ready to begin pouring the sidewalk in the next section of the sidewalk on the western side of S. Gay Street.

We finished pouring concrete for the bulb out sections at the beginning of the western sidewalk ( see pictures below) as well.

We plan to open up both sections of the sidewalk in the 200 Block on Friday and remove the fencing there so this will really open this area back up. We just finished the knee wall adjacent to the parking lot on the western side so the crosswalk along Summit Hill is all that remains before we begin work in the Vine Avenue intersection. This work will probably not take place until sometime in March as it will be involved and will require a complete closure of that intersection for around two weeks. We will have to likely flag for delivery trucks in the 200 Block and will allow valet and other parking on the 200 Block as best we can.

We will also have to bag, once again, the parking meters on State Street for no parking as we plan to remove that section of road and reconstruct that short piece of sidewalk along Treble Clef Park from Summit Hill to the tie in with the new sidewalk.

The first pieces of colored concrete have been poured in the 200 Block ( see next two pictures) and the remaining crosswalk at Summit Hill will be poured to the same color. I am told this is the predominant color for the rest of the project although there are some various shades for the banding yet to come.

We now have several crews working at once and the plan is to begin sidewalk construction on the eastern sidewalk of the 100 Block, beginning at Vine Avenue and working north until the supporting columns underneath begin. This work should go quickly as there is little supporting structure required. The estimate is for the construction on this piece to take one week. Then the plan is to move over onto the western sidewalk in front of FMB for another week.

At that point we will be ready to work in front of the Emporium, probably beginning on the evening of February 8 and working on the next two sections for the next three weeks or so ending just before the entrance to Slamdot.

While this work is going on we hope to be completing the micropiles and new column construction in the area of Unarmed Merchants and Dewhirst Properties. The plan is also to begin pouring concrete back for the roadway on the 100 Block on either end such that a complete lane can be finished along the western portion of the roadway in the 100 Block.

Weather permitting, we think we can really get moving along from here on out.

You may have noticed Southern Constructors has hired a gentleman just to keep all of the windows clean so we are thankful for their continued consideration for folks on the block.

Water services and just a small amount of electrical work is about all that remains as far as remaining utility work goes.

Don't forget the Streetscapes meeting scheduled for February 16 at 5:00pm at the Emporium. In addition to the Contractor, Engineers, KPD, KUB, and the CBID, I planning to invite the Fire Marshall office for input into Use Agreements for the under the sidewalk areas and other considerations.

As always, thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Construction Update - January 21, 2010

Thankfully the weather has gotten much better and we were able to get quite a lot done this past week. The 200 Block of S. Gay Street is getting close to completion as evidenced by the next two pictures below. Due to some equipment issues with a subcontractor, we have had to continue the lane closure on Summit Hill. We plan to have this lane reopened on Friday of this week. Shortly thereafter, we will begin the work on the intersection of S. Gay Street and Vine Avenue. We plan to make the valet parking and deliveries available on the newly resurfaced part of the 200 Block of S. Gay Street at that time. Most likely it will take a week or two to finish up that intersection depending primarily on the weather.

Work is continuing on the sidewalks in the 100 Block of S. Gay Street. It has been challenging so far to keep access to all of the buildings while continuing the work. Southern Constructors continues to do a fine job here in trying to accommodate the needs of all of the folks affected by the construction. It is really has been a testament to their abilities in coordinating all of the subcontractors and the subcontractors of the subs as well as their own people.

As reflected in the picture below (thanks to George Richardson for this picture) the Contractor has been able to pull up the old sidewalk as one big slab which has really helped in demolition.

Again, weather permitting we hope to finish this next section in the next week or two such that we can then move over onto the eastern sidewalk in front of the Emporium around February 9 for the rest of February. This will give us time to finish up with utility relocation and the drilling of micropiles needed to create two entirely new columns to support the sidewalk in the Unarmed Merchants area. The picture below reflects just how complicated this utility relocation underground is. Although KUB has completed their work, Massey Electric is now completing the portion of the work from the retaining wall into some of the structures, primarily on Dewhirst Properties. Any outages here should be minor in length of time.

I was privileged to give KPD a tour of the underground areas as well as the areas surrounding the 100 Block last week so they can remain current with all of the access points as well as to discuss issues related to security. These folks have a tough job and I am thankful for the job they do.

I am planning another Streetscapes update meeting for February 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm at the Emporium and will get out a press release soon so please mark your calenders.

As always, thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Construction Update - January 13, 2010

The weather has had an impact on our schedule this week but we have still continued to make progress, primarily completing some concrete work as well as continuing utility work in the underground areas of construction. The 200 Block of S. Gay Street has really come along and we began the lane closure on Summit Hill as previously announced (see press release below picture).


The right lane on the westbound side of Summit Hill Drive where it intersects with Gay Street will be closed from 9 a.m. Wednesday, January 13, through 6 a.m. Monday, January 18.

The lane closing is necessary for the completion of utility and street resurfacing work being conducted on the 200 block of Gay Street. The work is part of the ongoing Gay Street Streetscapes project.

Southern Constructors Inc. is the lead contractor for the Streetscapes project. It includes the 100 and 200 blocks of Gay Street - from Jackson Avenue to Summit Hill Drive - and involves the replacement of the street and both sidewalks in addition to other improvements.

More information about this effort is available at

In conjunction with 100 Block utility work, KUB will have some planned outages beginning Friday at 8:00 am until 5:00 pm to move utilities under the western sidewalk. My understanding is that folks impacted may have their power off for 2-4 hours at the longest but hopefully much shorter (see KUB Clearance request below for more detail).

Contractor’s Clearance Request Form

Email to:
Standard 48-hour advance notice

Clearance Date and Start Time requested
8:00AM Friday, Jan 15,2010

Contractor’s Name and phone number
Massey Electric 865-573-4200

Street Address of Clearance (or block, intersection, etc.):
111,117 S. Gay St

Purpose of the Clearance :
Relocate electric service conductors and conduit which are in way of new side walk construction.

Customer contact name and number, if applicable:
1.) 111 S.Gay St Mtr # E1H1000085
North Central Village LLC
2.) 117 ½ S.Gay St Mtr # Z1F0800727
Dewhirst Properties LLC
3.) 117 ½ (E) S.Gay St Mtr #Z1F0800729
Ayoub, Pete
4.) 117 S.Gay St Mtr #Z1F0800730
Dewhirst, David W.
5.) 117 S.Gay St Lot 1 Mtr #Z1F0800724
Dewhirst, David W.
6.) 117 S.Gay St Lot 4 Mtr #Z1F0800723
Dewhirst Properties LLC
Work Order number, if available:

Special requests or concerns:
North Central Village LLC @ 111 S.Gay St does not appear to be occupied.

KUB Troubleman needed? Yes/No

OHC Network crew will be required to disconnect/re-connect service conductors

With temperatures warming we hope to pour concrete in several places the rest of the week beginning today.

Tomorrow the next section of sidewalk on the west side of S. Gay Street will be removed to begin that part of the construction.

Upon completion of this work, the plans now are to move over onto the eastern sidewalk in front of the Emporium around February 9, 2010 after the February First Friday.

I plan to schedule another Public meeting around the middle of February to discuss progress and future plans.

Thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Construction Update - January 6, 2010

Wow has it been cold!! Obviously the cold weather has had and will continue to have an effect on our construction schedule. We were able to complete getting the sidewalk reconstructed in front of URBhana and have made plans to begin the next phase of construction next week. In the meantime, the sidewalk is reopened for the entire length on the west side for now (see next two pictures).

The next two pictures were taken under the newly constructed sidewalk. The Contractor is running heaters here to protect plumbing and other utilities.

Note the frame for the glass panel in the picture above.
Now that the plans are coming together we are working on the adjustment for several of the utilities that are in the underground section of the western sidewalk in the 100 Block. We had hoped to avoid having to do much here but it is now obvious several of the services are going to be directly in the way of the new beams for the sidewalk. Beginning later this week, KUB along with Massey Electric will begin the process of moving these services, first to a temporary service and later back to the permanent service. This will require some additional temporary power outages unfortunately, some being for folks who recently had other outages. KUB will notify folks per their usual process and I will also try to let you know here as soon as I can.

Since this utility work may take a bit of time, we are discussing moving construction over to the area in front of the Emporium maybe sometime in February. This work should go pretty quickly given the good conditions there and may be finished in three weeks or so. I will post more on that later.

I know some nice events are planned for First Friday in February at the Emporium , particularly an art show conducted by two friends, Bobbie Crews and Mike Berry, so whatever we do will not be in conflict with that.

Also, I understand that the January 2010 First Friday will be held this Friday January 8, 2010 and I have received information from URBhana about some events planned there as well.
I was also told that some folks had a little too much fun on the 100 Block New Years Eve from some of the vandalism and pranks discovered January 1. Luckily to my knowledge nobody got injured even though the window for URHbana was broken.

The 200 block has been repaved and, weather permitting, we plan to close off a lane of Summit Hill next Wednesday until Monday to finish up our tie in to the 200 Block of S. Gay Street then.
When that work is completed we hope to begin the final phase here by reconstructing the S. Gay Street/W. Vine Avenue intersection.
I was privileged to give a tour of the east and west sides of the 100 Block of S. Gay Street to several members of the Knoxville Fire Department so they could update their preplanning process in case of emergencies. I am always impressed by the professionalism of our Fire Department as well as our Police Department. I know both departments work hard to be proactive in their planning.
I hope everyone had a nice holiday and wish you all well for the next year.
As always, thanks for your interest.