By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express
---- — Bids were received Tuesday afternoon for the next phase of Knoxville’s Downtown Streetscape. The Knoxville City Council is expected to pass a resolution accepting bids at the July 15 meeting, and work can start as early as July 29. However, votes tallied from a Journal-Express online poll indicate that most people would prefer the work be delayed until after the Knoxville Nationals.
Regardless of when the project starts, it will include five blocks, including the four around the Marion County Courthouse. The first block to see improvement will be Second Street, between Main and Robinson. Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik said this block has seen the most sewer trouble and thus, should be done first.
The Streetscape project will include the replacement of the storm sewer, water lines and utilities. Property owners will also have the opportunity to replace the laterals to their buildings while the project is in progress. Feik said that while the City is working on these issues, the goal is to be sure work is done well and built to last.
With multiple blocks to see work, Feik said the City pledges to have only one intersection blocked at once. Though work may be ongoing, in different stages, on two streets, there will be passage through every intersection but one at a time. Access to the courthouse and downtown businesses was a top priority for those asked when the City researched the project.
The City borrowed over $3 million for the Streetscape project. It is expected to last through two construction cycles, but the project has a completion deadline of Spring 2015.
“This will be an interesting project,” Feik said. “It’s going to be a busy Fall.”