Gay Street Streetscapes Project Change on Council Agenda

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Gay Street Streetscapes Project Change on Council Agenda

Posted: 04/05/2010
The City of Knoxville, through its Engineering Department, will ask City Council to approve a $200,000 change order for the Gay Street Streetscapes Project at Council's meeting on Tuesday, April 6.

The request is not to add $200,000 to the project's budget.

Instead it calls for taking the requested funds from a $650,000 addition Council approved to the Gay Street budget last month in anticipation of this change order - and any others - that might become necessary to finish the work on schedule in August.

The Gay Street Streetscapes project began in February, 2009 and involves the reconstruction of the 100 and 200 blocks of Gay Street from Jackson Avenue to Summit Hill Drive including replacement of the street and sidewalks. It also includes the reconstruction of the underground structures supporting the 100 block as well as major utility upgrades.

That section of Gay Street was raised more than a story above the original street in 1919 and rests atop a bridge-like support structure. The ongoing construction marks the first major renovation of that infrastructure.

The total current budget for the Gay Street Streetscapes Project is $5.1 million. Of that the City of Knoxville, which is managing the project, is responsible for roughly $4 million while the Knoxville Utilities Board has $1.1 million budgeted for utility work.

Southern Constructors Inc., a Knoxville-based company, is the contractor.

There have been several change orders since work began due in part to the discovery that several of the columns supporting the block had shifted during the past century and weren't supporting anything. There were also problems relocating the outdated utilities and dealing aboveground with wetter and colder than normal weather during the past year.

The work has caused significant disruption for business and residents on the 100 Block of Gay.

If the $200,000 is approved by Council it would amend the current contract to roughly $4.4 million. Most of the $200,000 would be for extra personnel and overtime expenses needed to finish work by August.