Knoxville — The bricks for the downtown streetscape and infrastructure project remained a concern during Tuesday morning's streetscape meeting. Following a walk-through, during which every aspect of the masonry done thus far was reviewed and critiqued, the City of Knoxville was promised that workers will continue working on the project until the work is done.
Richard Brees with the City of Knoxville, and Greg Roth, with Veenstra and Kimm, walked around with a foreman with Hardstone Solutions after the meeting. According to Brees, the two identified every chipped brick, every uneven surface and every other issue with the bricks they could find.
"I was told by the foreman that they will be here until all of the work is done," Brees said. This includes not only the repair work, but the bumpouts that remain incomplete.
Workers are laying bricks in the bumpout on Robinson and Second, near Treasured Portraits, and removed the rock from the bumpout near Tasos. Marion County Facilities Manager Cal Stephens expressed his disappointment with the bricklayers' decision to move forward with those, but neither of the remaining ones on the courthouse side.
Stephens was referring to the mid-block bumpouts on Robinson, on the south side of the courthouse, and along Second, on the west side of the courthouse. Stephens said that the County has been very patient with the City during this project, but its business has been affected for longer than any other. Currently, it can be difficult for County vendors to get to the courthouse, with three sides of the courthouse being largely inaccessible. He also expressed his disappointment with the City's continued parking ticket issuance.
"My vendors have got no place to park," Stephens said. Assistant City Manager Dylan Feik said this is the same issue that downtown business owners are dealing with.