Wednesday, May 29, 2013

State Street Garage Update- May 29, 2013

Good progress continues to be made on  the State Street Garage expansion. By later this week, the garage will be reopened to all parkers after 2:00 PM everyday. Only monthly parkers will be allowed in the morning for about six more weeks. It is hoped that the overpass will once again be available by the end of the week. It had been opened previously, but lighting at night became an issue so temporary lighting will be installed to remedy that situation. Unfortunately the existing elevator will remain out of service while we complete some work in that area.
Some stormwater work is ongoing on S. Central Street and also on Clinch Avenue. The new elevator and core is currently being installed. The old elevator core will be demolished and a nice area for plantings and public art will be created.
As some folks know, the lower two levels of the Garage have been used by the City of Knoxville as a warehouse for surplus and storage and also by KPD for some of their needs. Because of all of our demands for parking Downtown, I am happy to report that we are now planning to make these two levels available for parking as well. We have had many requests by residents over the years to have some secured parking in this garage and to also make available some areas for storage so this new plan should accommodate those needs. Approximately 90 new secured parking spaces will be made available with about 24 of those having a storage unit component. We are still working out the details as to pricing, etc. as City Council appropriated some extra funding last night for this addition. I will post here about the details for reserving these spaces in the near future.
Other benefits will include making the existing elevator on the east end of the structure available to the public so folks will be able to walk across the new overpass and take the two elevators all the way to S. Central Street. We plan to refurbish the existing bathroom there and make it available to the public as well. We hope to accomplish this work on the same schedule as the rest of the garage. The final completion date for all phases of the garage is currently scheduled for August 1, 2013.
After spending so much time in that area the last six months we have also realized how much potential we have along that part S. Central Street between James White Parkway and the sidewalk. The City already maintains that area and the thought is to remove the chain link fence there and replace it with a much nicer fence and move the fence back to capture as much green space along the sidewalk as possible. Plans are to also create some sort of pocket park in that area. This would provide another very nice connection to the Old City and would also showcase this area to drivers in a much better way. We plan to meet with TDOT very soon to hopefully gain their approval of these ideas. They have always been very good to work with so we are very optimistic about getting this plan approved.
 We are also exploring ideas on ways to connect this new linear park area to the waterfront although this will obviously be very challenging given the road network there.

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

Thursday, May 16, 2013

State Street Garage Update- May 17, 2013

The State Street Garage expansion is continuing as was described in the last post. The overpass from the garage to the former escalator landing and then on to S. Gay Street will open on Friday, May 18, 2013. The parking level at the overpass level is still closed for parking however, so either the elevator or the stairway can be used to access this point.
The New Sentinel article in today's paper written by Jim Balloch accurately reflects our schedule and I have included a link here for more detail:

The following is a series of pictures taken the last two weeks. Several are from the new deck level.


The following pictures where all taken from the new deck:

The next picture is looking out from the new overpass to S. Gay Street.

Work on the new stormwater system is still ongoing. The picture below is of the work completed on Clinch Avenue.

This is a picture of the clearing being done along S. Central Street in anticipation of the new storm system there.

Thanks for your interest in this project and in Downtown Knoxville.
Don't forget the Biscuit Festival this weekend.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

State Street Garage Update- April 30, 2013

All of the precast concrete installation has now been completed including the overpass and new parking deck. All of the streets around the State Street Garage have reopened as well as all of the entrances and exits to the garage. One lane of S. Central Street will be closed some time soon for a few days to install a storm system and other temporary closures are still possible while we finish this project. This is particularly true for State Street as we plan to rebuild the sidewalk there and relocate the trash enclosure. The frame for the roof to be installed on the overpass is in place and the handrail will be installed soon. A small crane will be used to lift the glass roof sections into place in the next few weeks. Much of the parking area has been restored in the garage at this point. The upper deck and the new deck are still closed off while we finish the detail work there. Below are several pictures of the project taken the last few weeks. Some of them have been supplied by the Contractor and were taken at some of the key moments.

Please join me Downtown for First Friday on May 3, 2013. Also the Farmers Market begins today at Market Square.
Thanks for your interest in this project and in Downtown Knoxville.