Friday, August 31, 2012

State Street Garage Expansion August 31, 2012

Thanks for your interest in the City of Knoxville's State Street Garage Expansion project. I am Rick Emmett, the Downtown Coordinator for the City of Knoxville.

As many of you know, the City plans to add an additional level to the existing State Street Garage. As our Downtown has grown, so has our need for increased parking opportunities. The State Street Garage is currently at capacity much of the time. We currently have approximately 840 spaces available and this new level will add at least an additional 240 spaces. A complete count is not yet available since we are still working through some construction details.

We have assembled a very good team I believe, with the Public Building Authority having the role of Project Management. Others associated include McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects, Rentenbach Constructors, and CDM Smith for traffic analysis and coordination.  City Engineering and KUB have also been key team members obviously.

Below is a picture I took recently of the existing stairway and elevator core.

I plan to provide updates here on a regular basis so folks will be aware of construction issues both inside and outside the Garage. A couple of years ago I provided a similar blog throughout the construction of the 100 Block of S. Gay Street. Below is the link to that blog if you have any interest in how that construction progressed.

We are still early in the process but we tentatively plan to begin some construction in October with much of the more intense work occurring in January and February. In those months we will have some road closures at certain times. We have met with the adjacent property owners and held a Public Meeting to unveil the plans as we had them on July 27, 2012 at 5:00 at the East Tennessee History Center .

Thanks to   for this post below on his blog of our earlier Public Meeting. ( ).  I think he did an excellent job of reflecting the presentation and discussion and it was much appreciated.

Below is one of the earlier renderings of the new level showing the overpass which we plan to create over State Street to Gay Street. Missing from this rendering is a stairwell next to the elevator next to the escalator which will be removed. While the escalator was a very good addition, the cost of maintenance and other issues have become very problematic over the years and it will soon require a very expensive upgrade. We believe providing the overpass will be a much better solution for the future. It will be safer, have less maintenance required over the long term, and provide a better transition for folks with disabilities.

I will update this very soon to show the latest rendering.

As I did with the 100 Block of S. Gay Street construction, I plan to try to have some historical pictures and details as well. Below is a picture my friends at Rentenbach Construction provided from the original Garage construction in January 1980. They also were involved in the original construction so it is a real advantage to have them available now as well.

Please feel free to forward this blog link to those you think may have an interest in the State Street Parking Garage Expansion project. If you would like to be included in my email list for blog updates, please send me your request at

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and is able to come downtown and to the waterfront on Sunday, September 2, 2012 to enjoy the Boomsday festivities
Once again, thanks for your interest in the City of Knoxville.