Thursday, July 15, 2010

Construction Update - July 15, 2010

Please don't forget the ribbon cutting now scheduled for July 19, 2010 at 11:00 am. Most of the work on the block is expected to be completed by then but the actual final opening of the road through the 100 Block has now become problematic. We always have had a final deadline of August 15 but had optimistically scheduled the ribbon cutting based on our projections three weeks ago. Some recent issues that have been discovered as we begin our final engineering inspections have forced us to delay the time to have the road completely opened, however. We had hoped to be able to open the road and keep at least one lane open but some extra work is required in both lanes so we felt it was best just to complete all of the work at once. The effect of this is that we will not be able to open the road permanently on July 19 as we had hoped.

We all want it to be right when we are finished here so spending a little extra time now seems to make a lot of sense.

Thanks to all of you for attending the 100 Block meeting this week. We discussed parking issues including signage on the Gay Street Viaduct and City Engineering is investigating those issues for me. Commercial loading zones and possible 15 minute parking spaces also had discussion. This is an issue that exists all over downtown and we are in the process of determining a solution that works for everyone.

A Committee is forming to plan the Block party planned for late August or September and this will be coordinated through our Office of Special Events. Contact them if you wish to be included.

Lastly, we were glad to hear that plans are being made to reconstitute the 100 Block Neighbourhood Association. I am sure you will be hearing more about that in the near future. Sean Christman of Slamdot will be heading up this organization.

As most of you know, we have only a little sidewalk work in front of the former VMC building left to finalize and we will finish this up this week. Other than caulking, this will finish up all of the sidewalk work for the project.

We are hoping to have our planter boxes completed but we continue to have delays with our vendors due to Nashville flooding. We plan to install the trees in September and these will be 20' to 30' Elms so the effect should be quite dramatic.

Jackson Avenue will be reopened sometime next week after some paving required to tie back the new construction to the Jackson Avenue ramp (see picture below)

Overall though, I think the block is looking great. The 200 Block has been completed for some time, the street lights are in and are functioning, the street furniture is in place, O.P. Jenkins Parking Lot area has been completely refurbished, Fire Street Alley has been completely rebuilt, and the Cradle of Country Music Park has been expanded. All of the new utilities are in place and are on line, and the underground areas have new pavement.

The picture above was sent to me by a friend and was taken from a book he received recently.

The book, "Knoxville - A Pictorial History", has this photograph and the accompanying text:

"In 1869, S.T. Post and Son started making wagons and carriages. In 1978, Post and Company is still in business, but they make truck bodies nowadays. This photo, taken from Summitt Hill in 1872, shows Post's original location. Gay Street goes from left to right in the foreground. Peabody School is the large cupolaed building just below the left horizon. East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia railroad trains - now the site of the Southern railroad yards - are below the Peabody. The circus was held just above the pond near the center of the picture. Central Avenue (originally Crozier Street) can just be seen halfway up on the right behind the white house."

Thanks again to all of the folks on the bock for their patience and understanding throughout this complicated project.

As always, thanks for your interest.

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