Upgrade to Close 700 Block of S. Gay St. Starting Dec. 14

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Upgrade to Close 700 Block of S. Gay St. Starting Dec. 14

Posted: 12/08/2015
Construction ProjectA rebuild of the infrastructure in the 700 block of South Gay Street will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 9, with a complete closure of the street between Cumberland and Church avenues starting on Monday, Dec. 14.

As work gets underway this week, one southbound lane of Gay Street and the western sidewalk will be closed, starting Thursday, Dec. 10.

The complete street closure begins Dec. 14 and will continue for up to six months, but during the reconstruction of the 700 block, the intersections at Cumberland and Church avenues generally will remain open to east-west through traffic.

Full pedestrian access to businesses on the east side of Gay Street in the 700 block will be maintained throughout the project.
700 block gay st The almost $1.5 million project – approved by City Council in September – will include utility upgrades, new pervious paver sidewalks, streetscape additions and new intersection paving. New street trees will benefit from greater soil volume provided by underground structural cells that also support the sidewalk. Intersection bulb-outs will be built to improve pedestrian safety and better define on-street parking.

In addition, three telecommunications companies – Comcast, AT&T and Wow! – will be taking advantage of the City’s subterranean infrastructure work and will be installing new conduit for their companies. The coordination avoids the City and the companies doing separate digs and will create expanded services for the companies’ downtown customers.

“This work is obviously necessary, because this is the last remaining block of Gay Street that hasn’t undergone an upgrade,” said Rick Emmett, the City’s Downtown Coordinator. “Some of the infrastructure is a century old. And some sections of sidewalk are in pretty bad shape.”

Jim Hagerman, the City’s Director of Engineering, said motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians commuting through downtown will benefit from the replacement of uneven medallions at the Gay Street intersections with Church and Clinch avenues.

“The brick intersections at Clinch and Church are deteriorating,” Hagerman said. “Some bricks have been dislodged, and the asphalt patches are rough and unattractive. But when this project is finished, the new intersections with the bulb-outs will be smooth, safer and look great.”

The 700 block work is scheduled to be completed by mid-June 2016.

Click here to view proposed changes to the 700 Block of Gay St.

Click here to view the Engineering Project Sheet for the 700 Block of Gay St.