Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Construction Update - March 31, 2010

Plans are to finish the 200 Block of S. Gay Street by May 0f 2010, including street furniture and street lights. The series of pictures below reflects the work going on there in the next few days. The 2 inch colored concrete is being poured and there will be other colors of concrete creating bands as we go. Thanks to Ollantay Corujo for providing me with some of these pictures.

We have also made a lot of progress on the sidewalk in front of the facade on the eastern side of S. Gay Street. The plan here is to begin pouring the concrete for the sidewalk next Monday. Probably sometime in the next two weeks work will begin on the final section of sidewalk on the eastern side of the street.

On Monday April 5, 2010 we will close Vine Avenue within the right of way of S. Gay Street for three to four weeks. This is the final bit of work needed to upgrade the waterlines along with some other utility work. When this is finished, around the first of May, we hope to completely reopen the 200 Block to traffic along with Vine Avenue. The only work remaining will be the planting of trees which we will complete in the fall.

During this closure folks parking in the Sterchi Parking lot will have to enter and exit by way of Walnut Street off of Summit Hill.

Delivery trucks will use State street and swing wide through the O.P. Jenkins parking area.

The picture below is of the crews currently working on the water line through O.P Jenkins parking lot in anticipation of this closure. Please let your neighbors know about this important bit of work.

With better weather we are gearing up for the final push to complete the project by August 2010. The Contractor plans to add an additional crew and will work 10 hour days including eight hours on Saturday. We are all committed to having the vast majority of the work completed by August as we have planned.

I am looking forward to seeing a large crowd for First Friday on April 2 and also folks downtown for the upcoming Dogwood Arts Festival.

Please patronize our businesses on the 100 block while you are there including Eleven, Nama, Ollantays Havana Nights, URBhana, and Unarmed Merchants.

As always, thanks for your patience and interest.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Construction Update - March 25, 2010

Work this week has consisted of pouring concrete for the reinforced columns near the facade on the 100 Block of S. Gay Street and replacing the beams. The steel has been delivered so the framework for the new sidewalk is also in progress. We hope to begin pouring back that sidewalk in the next ten days or so.

In the meantime, next week, we plan to begin pouring the colored two inch concrete topcoat which will complete the sidewalk in the 200 Block. This work should be finished by First Friday on April 2, 2010.

Then, on Monday April 5, we will begin one of the most difficult sections of work left and that is the work at the Vine Street intersection. On that day we will have to completely close that intersection for three weeks to one month. This will mean that folks using the Sterchi Building parking lot will have to enter and exit from Walnut Street off of Summit Hill Drive.

The small section of State Street will remain open for deliveries and we have expanded the radius so folks can loop around through the parking area in front of O.P. Jenkins. The two pictures below reflect the work being completed to allow this movement. The radius is large enough for the larger delivery trucks to make that turn.

I will get out a press release on this next week as well.

By the end of April, we plan to completely reopen the 200 Block to traffic and Vine Avenue will also be open for traffic at that time.

The area we are using for the turn radius as well the area that is now a part of the short section of State Street will become additional parking for the block and we will be working on getting that formed and striped while we are working at that intersection.

With better weather we think we can really make noticeable progress from here until August.

The schedule from here on out will likely consist of finishing the sidewalk in front of facade, then finishing the last section of sidewalk on the eastern side of the street.

Sometime around mid May/June, then, we will move back over to the western sidewalk. This work will likely be broken into three work zones because of all of the access issues but each section hopefully will only take ten days to two weeks.

While all of this is going on, we plan to finish up portions of the roadway itself on the 100 Block.

Timing will be tight but we believe we can have it substantially completed by August, such that all sections of the roadway are reopened. There will probably still be some temporary finish work after this time which may require some additional small sections of the roadway or sidewalk to be closed but these closures should be for a very brief time.

Thanks again for all of your patience and understanding.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Construction Update - March 18, 2010

With better weather on the horizon, we hope to make real progress from here on out. The picture below is of the completed sidewalk (except for the two inch colored concrete topcoat) on the eastern sidewalk at S. Gay Street and Vine Avenue.

The picture below is of the completed sidewalk in front of the Emporium on S. Gay Street. The plywood sections will be the location of the glass block panels upon completion.

With this construction we are finally able to reopen the sidewalk along Jackson Avenue so folks can avoid oncoming traffic.

We began the next phase of sidewalk work this week from the end of the Emporium construction on up to the entrance to the Sterchi Building. By today the old beams have been removed and the columns ready for new construction (see next four pictures).

In order to protect the existing facade, the Contractor provided shoring under the sidewalk. The picture below was taken from the aluminum walkway adjoining the facade.

As we experienced on the western sidewalk, we also located old coal shoots (see the next two pictures). Thanks again to Mike Berry for providing me some of these pictures.
This old coal shoot has now been removed.

The folks at KUB asked me to inform everyone that they plan to work on a waterline in the parking lot near O.P Jenkins on Friday and should be finished by the end of the day. Some parking meters will likely be bagged to accomplish this work.

Thanks for your interest.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Construction Update - March 12, 2010

I am happy to report that we have finally had the concrete poured for the eastern sidewalk in front of the Emporium. Thanks to Mike Berry for sending me these pictures yesterday.

I also received some good news this past week on another front. Many of you have been asking the City to assist in getting Comcast to extend their services onto the western side of the block. I have set up Comcast with KUB on a couple of occasions without success. City Councilman Nick Pavlis happened to be on the 100 Block last week and the subject of utilities came up. As most of you know, Nick is very knowledgeable about this issue and offered to intercede. I am happy to report that he called me this week to tell me that Comcast plans to provide service to the folks on the western side of the block in the very near future. Thanks Nick for all of your help.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Construction Update - March 11, 2010

As shown in the picture below, we have finally been able to pour concrete for the section of the eastern sidewalk along S. Gay Street near Vine Avenue. By having this section reopened, access should be greatly improved on the block.

I realize that Sunday and Monday brought less than ideal conditions for travel on the block and I apologize on behalf of the City and the Contractor for all of the inconveniences. That being said, for us to have any hope of completing this project in a timely manner, we must have the ability to work occasional weekend hours and in more than one area at a time and we hope folks will recognize that the travelways will probably be changing often. Granted the crushed rock pathways are not the same as a concrete sidewalk but we believe they are still functional for the short term.

As we begin the work needed in mid-block, traversing the area will obviously become more challenging. If you have specific needs throughout this process, please don't hesitate to let me or the Contractor know about them and we will make every effort we can to accommodate you as we have in the past.

We are now working in front of FMB Advertising on the western sidewalk near Vine Avenue (see picture below) and this work is going quickly. We hope to pour back this section of sidewalk tomorrow.

The western sidewalk is currently open from Jackson Avenue all the way down to FMB.

Several pathways have been created to reach the Emporium and adjacent businesses. The eastern sidewalk can also be accessed from here (see next two pictures).

We plan to pour concrete in front of the Emporium tomorrow and also pour concrete on the western side near here for a bump out and an extended curb. This will allow us to have the next section of roadway poured here next week.

Following this concrete work, on Monday, we plan to begin the next section of sidewalk from Slamdot, past the WNOX facade, to near the entrance of the Sterchi Building. The entrance to the Sterchi will not be affected by this. The aluminum sidewalk will not be able to be accessed from S. Gay Street from noon on Monday for several hours while we remove the sidewalk for several reasons not the least of which is safety. We are hopeful this work can proceed at a good pace and then we can completely finish the eastern sidewalk in the next phase of work.

While we are working on the eastern side, we will also begin some work on the western sidewalk underground to begin construction of the cross beam needed to work with the completed shafts created by the micropiles which, as you all know, were drilled earlier this week.

There are now two remaining sections of the western sidewalk to complete after we finish the eastern sidewalk.

Obviously it will be a challenge to finish all of the work by August given the many obstacles but we are all working toward that goal.

Please hang in there with us for a few more months so we can complete this much needed project.

Thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Construction Update - March 4, 2010

Work has progressed at a slower pace than we had hoped on the sidewalk in front of the Emporium for a variety of reasons. Obviously weather has factored into this but also we have had design changes once again due to problems with the original elevations among other issues.

The picture below is the work required now to tie in this section to Jackson Avenue.

The steel is continuing to be placed and hopefully we will be able to begin pouring this sidewalk section by Thursday of next week. Of course we have First Friday on March 5, 2010 so the entrance will be as shown in the picture below. The mid-block crossing will be in place for folks to visit the clothing store Eleven as well. The folks at Eleven really need our support right now so please find some time to visit them.

We hope to begin pouring back the sidewalk on the eastern sidewalk near Vine Avenue by March 4, 2010. This work has also been slowed by several factors including some last minute utility work near Vine Avenue. We are continuing to discuss the eventual closure of this intersection but are very mindful of all the issues involved not the least of which is traffic flow.

Additional work on the waterline in this area is planned to continue tomorrow as well.

On Sunday of this week, March 7, 2010, please be prepared for the work needed to drill the micropiles to form the new columns near Unarmed Merchants. This will require a small drilling rig and they plan to begin setting up around 7:00 to 7:30 am Sunday morning and begin drilling around 9:00am or so. This work will require some noise and dust unfortunately. The subcontractor plans to work 12 hours at a time and be finished by Tuesday. This schedule works well for the folks at Unarmed Merchants since they close on those days. The drilling will be required directly in front of their entrance on the sidewalk. We apologize in advance because I know this will likely be disruptive.

Once again, I hope to see you at First Friday on March 5, 2010. Looks like right now the weather should be decent so I hope you can come out and help support our Downtown and the Art Community.

Thanks for your interest.