100 Block Ribbon Cutting July 20

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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100 Block Ribbon Cutting July 20

Posted: 06/28/2010
The City of Knoxville will hold a ribbon cutting to re-open the 100 Block of Gay Street and celebrate the completion of the Gay Street Streetscapes Project on Tuesday, July 20th.

The long-awaited event comes after more than year of construction that closed the north end of downtown's main street that features a mix of residential, retail and restaurant establishments and transformed it into a dusty, often noisy, construction site.

Crews with Southern Constructors replaced the street, replaced and widened the sidewalks on both the 100 and 200 Blocks of Gay Street in addition to repairing and renovating the underground supporting structure which has suspended the 100 Block more than a story above the original version of Gay Street for nearly a century now.

Workers also upgraded the utility infrastructure along the 100 and 200 Blocks.

Work on the project had originally been scheduled for completion sometime in August.

"Obviously we're pleased to be able to announce the completion date for this project and to be finishing it a little early," said Rick Emmett, the city's urban growth manager. "It has caused a lot of hardships for the people who live and work there but I think everyone is going to be very pleased with the final result."

"It's a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly street with wider sidewalks and improved utilities that will make a difference there for many years," he added. "We also really needed to improve the support structures under the street, which we discovered were in much worse condition than anyone anticipated."

The 100 Block was raised above the original street in 1919 and sits atop a bridge-like support structure. The Gay Street Streetscapes Project was the first major maintenance work on the street since it was raised.