Public Street Being Upgraded to Improve Access to New Public Works Service Center

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Public Street Being Upgraded to Improve Access to New Public Works Service Center

Posted: 05/04/2016
As construction progresses on the City of Knoxville’s new Public Works Service Center off Loraine Street, a Blaine Construction Corp. crew over the next six weeks will be upgrading a section of Morris Avenue, one of the public streets that residents will be using to access the facility.

Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 6, Morris Avenue will be closed between Liberty and Loraine streets. When the work is completed by mid-June, Morris Avenue will be newly graded and repaved, with repaired infrastructure.

The Public Works Service Center will consolidate Engineering and Public Service operations and the City’s Employee Health Center under one roof. But the new building – scheduled to open this summer – also will create a convenient, centralized location where residents and operators of businesses can meet with City staff or gather for public meetings.

“This building will be a public amenity, and we fully intend to be hosting many public gatherings here, just as the City County Building serves the downtown community as a site for meetings and public business,” says David Brace, Senior Director of Public Works.

“It’ll be an attractive, energy-efficient and functional building, built on LEED principles. Citizens and City employees will be proud of it. As part of our commitment to the community, we want to make sure the building can be safely and easily accessed by pedestrians, so we’re repairing the damaged infrastructure.”

The three-story public works complex – clearly visible to Interstate 40 motorists – includes a geothermal system that experts estimate will improve energy efficiency by 30 percent and save money in heating and cooling costs. The system also will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

Modernizing the City’s Public Works facilities and consolidating resources at a single location will increase efficiency in providing public services. Says Brace: “Our expectation is to provide more and better services without additional operational costs. We intend to do that by investing in our people and in improved technology and equipment.”