Knoxville — The quality of the bricks, and lack of progress toward finishing the paver portion of the Downtown Streetscape project, were identified as concerns at Tuesday's bi-weekly streetscape meeting.
Beau Perkins with Hawkeye Paving was trying to reach the company doing this aspect of the project to provide an update on its status, but he had not heard anything prior to the 10 a.m. meeting. Hardscape Solutions is the subcontractor for this portion of the project. Perkins said Hawkeye has never had an issue with the company before and had no explanation as to what happened this time.
Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik told Perkins that the bricks were sloping and turning. The brick crosswalk between the courthouse and movie theater is uneven with the street, with a slight lip.
There are also many places around the streetscape project in which there are holes, intended to be filled with brick, but currently exist as tripping hazards. City Manager Harold Stewart told the contractor that this concern was raised by the City Council Monday night.
Perkins told those in attendance that he believes the subcontractor is dealing with a material shortage, to explain why some of these issues are occurring. The Journal-Express called Hardscape Solutions for comment, but the call has not been returned.
Marion County Facilities Director Cal Stephens also inquired about placing a piece of plywood, near a handicap parking space on the south side, to make things easier for those bound to a wheelchair. He witnessed someone almost tip over as they rolled over the gravel, trying to access the courthouse.
Hawkeye Paving is also considering deviating from the plan of moving from Third Street, back to Robinson between Roche and Second, for the next phase of the project. Currently, the schedule calls for the project to move to Main Street upon completion of Third, but Perkins believes that the Robinson Street project may be easier to complete in the fall.
No decision was made whether or not the schedule will change. Perkins said he would know in a couple of weeks, at the next streetscape meeting on July 1.