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West Jackson Avenue Getting a Makeover 

Contractor crews have repaired the sidewalks on a section of West Jackson Avenue in the Old City.

Two streetscape projects totaling about $2 million are giving West Jackson Avenue between South Central Street and Broadway a robust new look.

But that's just the beginning: By the time the antiquated ramps onto Gay Street get rebuilt, possibly starting in early 2018, collective City investment to modernize crumbling Old City public infrastructure is expected to top $10 million.

First things first, though. Upgrades to the West Jackson utilities, street and sidewalks on both sides of Gay Street are scheduled to be completed before the ramp reconstruction gets underway. So between now and next spring, two different contractors will be finishing up their West Jackson streetscape work - new or repaired wider sidewalks and upgraded street lights, with tree plantings to come this fall when the weather turns cooler.

Southern Constructors Inc. has built sidewalks on both sides of West Jackson between South Central and State Street. One interesting facet of the sidewalk repair, in front of new developments such as The Daniel and the Old City Wine Bar, involved the concrete curb being brushed and textured to match the older, broken stone pieces that were being replaced - a somewhat novel innovation.

Starting this week, crews will be milling the street and doing initial paving. Motorists should anticipate intermittent closures.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Gay Street, Design and Construction Services Inc. crews are getting underway with their streetscape work on West Jackson, extending from the Gay Street ramp to Broadway. This is a longer section of West Jackson, and it's an important pedestrian and bicycle corridor connecting Henley Street, Broadway and World's Fair Park to the Old City and redevelopment happening further east. It also provides improved access to and from a large City-owned parking lot on that stretch of Jackson.

Look for both streetscape projects to be completed by early spring 2018. That's also the tentative start date for the reconstruction of the outdated ramps, built in 1919-20.

There's another leg in the series of Old City infrastructure upgrades, which will be scheduled once the design work is complete. The final City project will be to streetscape East Jackson Avenue from Central to Patton Street.

Motorists should expect milling and paving on this section of West Jackson Avenue in the coming two weeks, with intermittent closures.

Initial work on the south side of West Jackson was done last year, in coordination with redevelopment of The Daniel building.

Posted by evreeland On 10 August, 2017 at 4:02 PM