Friday, February 15, 2013

State Street Garage Update- February 15, 2013

I have received further clarification regarding the State Street Garage parking situation. Due to all of the enforcement issues and to comply with all safety requirements, the Contractor has determined that it is necessary to close off the one half of the garage closest to State Street which is within the swing radius of the crane. I thought our shut down a few days ago was for only 30 minutes but was in fact for half of the day. We are on such a short timeline here that this sort of unnecessary delay is devastating.
I am working to locate some alternative parking areas due to this new situation. My understanding is that even the surface lot next door was full yesterday. Rentenbach, PBA, and the City all are sincerely sorry for any inconvenience this situation yesterday may have caused anyone. The decision to close half the Garage was made quickly due to our time constraints and we simply did not have time to get out as much notice as we would have liked.
On March 5, 2013 when we move the crane from State Street, the other half of the Garage will be closed for the portion of construction near S. Central Street. Our goal is to reopen sometime in April if possible.
For folks parking in the Garage monthly, please contact me (Rick Emmett 215-3837), Republic Parking, or PBA for alternate locations to park if the current situation at the State Street Garage is too burdensome for you.
Once last bit of information is that the exit to State Street from the Garage to Clinch Avenue should reopen today which should provide a little relief for those exiting the garage.
Lastly, here is a picture I took today from across Hall of Fame Drive showing our progress so far.
Thanks for your interest.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

State Street Garage Update-February 14, 2013

Our contractor, Rentenbach Constructors, Inc., is continuing to make good progress on our project and the new deck is really starting to take shape.
However, we are having problems with keeping both cars and pedestrians out of the work zone and we ask that you closely follow the directions of our flaggers and also to pay attention to the traffic control signs. Yesterday the site was shut down for approximately 30 minutes because some individual drove his car through the site, parked and walked directly under the swing radius of the crane. We have strict safety guidelines we have to abide by so we cannot allow this to continue to happen.
Because of this incident and others like it this week, we have been forced to close off even more of the garage during the day and have added even more signage and folks on site.
Our goal is to be off of State Street by March 5, 2013 and we simply will not be able to meet that goal without cooperation.
I have urged everyone  to park in the surface lot next to the garage as much as possible to avoid any conflicts. The Coliseum is also an option for the next few weeks and the trolley runs right by there.
We are meeting continually to monitor this situation and I will let everyone know as soon as I find out about any changes to parking in this area. We realize on high traffic days like today, even the surface lot next door is full.
Below are some pictures of the crane erecting the precast concrete sections.

You may have noticed quite a bit of work around Regal Cinema as well. This work is in anticipation of the new overpass to be installed the first of March. KUB has taken this opportunity to upgrade their transformer here and to also relocate it to a better location. The previous location of the transformer was problematic because of access issues but also was in the old crosswalk area which forced the creation of a second crosswalk. This has caused a lot of confusion and safety concerns in the last few years so this project will correct that condition as well.
Happy Valentines Day everyone. I know we are all looking forward to Spring which is just around the corner.
Thanks for your interest in Downtown and in the State Street Garage progress.

Friday, February 1, 2013

State Street Garage Update- February 1, 2013

We knew that beginning a construction project in the middle of the winter would be challenging. Snow and then  ice coupled with cold weather as we have had recently can obviously cause issues. Then  we have near record rainfall  for Januaury.
I am glad to report, however, that we continue to make good progress despite the weather.
The large crane has finally arrived on State Street and our understanding is that the trucks carrying the precast concrete should begin rolling in on Monday. Our goal is still to have the work completed on the State Street side of the garage, including the new overpass, by March 5. At that point the crane will move down Union Avenue to S. Central Street for approximately one month .
The foundation work is proceeding and is generally on schedule as planned.
The parking situation in the garage has had some glitches but I think we have finally resolved those with signage and folks on site for direction. Monthly parkers are allowed to park in the State Street Garage and we are directing all others to the surface lot beside the garage. This lot can be accessed from several different directions and we are grateful to Knox County for allowing us this use.

We cancelled the last scheduled Public Hearing due to many conflicts with other meetings and also because of the potential weather and that now looks like a good call.
We have scheduled the next Public Meeting to provide a construction update and to answer any questions for February 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm at the East Tennessee History Center.
We now have our new landscaping plan so we will provide details at that time for review.
Please continue to use caution in this congested work zone and be aware of our flaggers and the directional signage. We have given a lot of thought to placement and function here so we need your help to work with us to provide a safe environment.
Below are some random pictures of the foundation work, work site,  and some of the equipment.

Below are couple of the older pictures from the original construction:

Thanks for your interest in this project and in Downtown Knoxville.