Knoxville — If all goes well and the weather cooperates, the concrete portion of the downtown streescape project currently under construction should be completed in two weeks.
Inspector Richard Breese with Knoxville Public Works said he doubts that the project will be done in time for Living Windows on Nov. 21. He knows the sidewalks will not be done.
One lane of Robinson was poured today. Breese said the through streets have to be poured first. Robinson has the crown of the intersection and its installation is tied to proper drainage.
Tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 22) the main line for the west lane of Second Street is expected to be poured, followed on Saturday by the east lane. Breese is hopeful that the south lane of Robinson can also be poured on Saturday. If not, it will be poured on Sunday. Contractors are expected be working throughout the weekend.
After all of the road lanes reach maturity, Breese said the project will then shift to parking installation. TK Concrete and Hawkeye will be working together to install the parking space concrete.
When the streets and parking are ready, the focus will then shift to the sidewalk. Construction of the sidewalks will be stage to ensure continued access to businesses along Second Street. The corners will then be staggered.
While this project is referred to as "streetscape," which implies to the beautification aspect of the project, the majority of the cost and reason behind it was to update the decades-old infrastructure below. Breese said all of the underground work is complete with the exception of some electrical conduit that will be placed under the sidewalk on the east side of Second.
Though the project has at least two more weeks of work, the original anticipated completion date for this stage of the project was Nov. 11. City Manager Harold Stewart said he does not believe any penalties will be assessed the contractor before the contact deadline for the entire project, in the spring of 2015.
Stewart said staff has been pushing the contractors to finish this portion of the project before winter.