Thursday, April 8, 2010

Construction Update - April 8, 2010

Work is really progressing quickly now with better weather. Vine Avenue was closed this past Monday and so far we have not had many issues with it. We are making very good progress here. The waterline in the middle of the road has now been finished (the existing waterline here basically had to be abandoned and cut off since the new waterline was installed in the 200 Block of S. Gay Street). The pictures below reflect some of that work. By yesterday afternoon the Contractor had ordered concrete for a portion of Vine Avenue.

The sidewalks on the 200 Block are now basically completed and we think they look really good. There will still be a final dressing up but folks can now get an idea of what all of the sidewalks in the Streetscapes project will look like. The plan is to begin installing street lights and street furniture next week in anticipation of the reopening of the 200 Block and Vine Avenue in a few weeks. When this block is reopened, the Contractor plans to completely repave the OP Jenkins parking lot as well and this work will include the additional parking spaces. This work should go quickly so by sometime after the first of May we are hoping to have most of the work done from Summit Hill to Vine Avenue.

We are making a lot of gains on the 100 Block at the same time and have now poured the next section of sidewalk in front of the facade between the Emporium and the Sterchi Building. The next few pictures reflect this work. The last phase of work will probably start this week with the removal of the remaining older sidewalk on the eastern side of the 100 Block. This last stretch will provide the last area of some uncertainty as the support system will consist of some grade work, some retaining wall work, and some column work. If all goes as planned here, we hope to be able to complete this section by the end of May.

Below is a picture of the rebar in place in anticipation of concrete. With this much steel in place, this sidewalk should last another 100 years!

Below is a picture of the next section of sidewalk scheduled for completion.

When we finish the work on the eastern sidewalk, we will then turn efforts back over to the western sidewalk probably starting at the section nearer Vine Avenue and working our way north. The restaurant's there are all planning some remodeling and this works with their schedules. We can also begin finishing the road behind us as we proceed.
If this works as we hope we will be finishing up at Dewhirst Properties offices in June and will begin performing finish work in anticipation of our completion date of August 15, 2010.
KUB still has some electrical work to do at the Gay Street intersection with Jackson Avenue which may require some lane closures on Jackson and we are working with them to insure that is completed well before our completion date.
Thanks to all of you for your attendance at First Friday this month and for your continued understanding. It was dusty and windy down there yesterday and we are trying to put down water to hold the dust as best we can and Southern Constructors continues to have employees washing windows.
One last note of thanks to Southern Constructors and their subcontractors, particularly Blount Excavating and Massey Electric, on behalf of many of the businesses and residents of the 100 Block. Their helpfulness and courtesy to everyone there has been noticed and is greatly appreciated.

We are also grateful to Knoxville City Council for their support in seeing this project completed on time with some certainty and also for funding the management of the Jackson Avenue parking lot.
Thanks for your interest

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