Friday, September 28, 2012

State Street Garage Expansion- September 28, 2012

We are continuing to meet on a regular basis to discuss all aspects of this project. We now plan to begin some of the foundation work around the middle of October and we will be working both inside and outside of the garage. The initial work inside the garage will occur at the lowest levels which is currently used for City of Knoxville storage. I hope to provide some pictures soon of this interior area. Some temporary lane and street closures are expected during this time particularly on Central Street.

We have had much discussion about ways to inform the public of parking issues during construction and have asked the transportation planners and architects to provide some pictures and maps as we go along so I can post them here. Also signage both inside and outside the garage will be very important.
Our current thinking is that on any given day we may be using from 15 to 30 spaces for construction on various parking levels. As I stated in earlier posts, in January and February, the entire upper parking deck will out of service along with a few other spaces.
We are continuing to make decisions about the look and functioning of the new level and overpass and our hope is that all of this pre-planning will result in a quicker completion without undue complications. I am very impressed with the level of expertise of our team and their ability to completely think through all possible scenarios.
We also continue to meet with stakeholders and most recently met with our ADA folks. We are planning to add parking stalls to accommodate minivans which we believe will be very helpful and to also address other ADA issues with the current garage. Interestingly, we have discovered that the elevation from the existing upper level of the garage to the escalator only varies by a few inches so having accessibility here should provide a great transition from the garage to Gay Street. For those folks who may find themselves on State Street, we plan to change the crosswalk so that the overpass provides a covered walkway up to the stairway and elevator. Currently a KUB transformer under the sidewalk there has been problematic but we plan to move the transformer into the space created under the overpass nearer the Regal Cinema building.
Our next Public Meeting will be held on October 11, 2012 at the East Tennessee History Center at 5:00pm and I hope to have finalized renderings of the look of the new deck and overpass area.

As always, thanks for your continued interest in downtown.

Friday, September 14, 2012

State Street Garage Expansion September 14, 2012

We are continuing to finalize the design for the State Street Garage and I hope to have some detail on scheduling in the very near future. We are planning to begin construction in October and there will be impacts both inside and outside the garage at that time including possible lane closures on both State Street and Central Avenue during daylight hours. We have discussed planning a Public Update Meeting which is tentatively scheduled now for Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the East Tennessee History Center at 5:00 pm. We will send out a press release and of course I will post here when we get that date and time verified.
I am including here two of the most recent renderings of the new addition. Please note that we plan to construct a new elevator core which will align with the overpass over to Gay Street and over the escalator which will be removed. This rendering also depicts the stairway to be constructed and shows one of the ideas for the area after the existing elevator core is removed.

Since I know many of you have an interest in the historical aspects of this area, I am attaching here a page from the Sanborn Map series which was created in the early part of the century for fire insurance purposes. The area of the State Street Garage here is labeled “Elks Home” along with other businesses.

Lastly, here is another picture given to me by my friends at Rentenbach Constructors Incorporated of the original garage construction in 1980.
Thanks for your interest in this project and in Downtown Knoxville.