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Now open! New Decks in State Street Garage Can Accommodate 570 Vehicles 
The new decks park 570 vehicles.

Earlier this morning (Wednesday, July 3, 2019), the two new parking decks in the expanded State Street Garage opened. Here's what the top floor of the garage looked like at 8 a.m., before the first cars parked on it.

“The garage expansion is a huge milestone,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “We’ve created 570 much-needed new parking spaces in the heart of downtown. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding since the work began last fall.”
The expanded State Street Garage now accommodates about 1,600 vehicles.

The City invested $11 million to construct the two new decks. 

With recent investments in parking infrastructure, the total number of public parking spaces in the downtown area has been increased to more than 10,500. These garages and surface lots offer free parking on nights and weekends.

Here's the scene from the newly-opened top deck of the State Street Garage,

Building the two new State Street Garage decks is the latest step taken by the City to modernize and expand parking infrastructure to serve a growing downtown.

An initial $6.1 million expansion of the State Street Garage in 2013 added a deck and 240 spaces.

In 2013 and 2014, the City partnered with Walnut Street Garage LLC to build a privately-owned garage at the corner of Summer Place and Locust Street. The City contributed about $3.5 million to purchase, prepare and clear the site. The garage offers more than 1,000 free night and weekend parking spaces.

In the immediate downtown core alone, there are more than 4,500 garage parking spaces. That includes spaces at four City-owned garages – the State Street, Market Square, Main Avenue and Locust Street garages – and the KUB-owned Promenade and the privately-owned Walnut Street Garage.

Moving out to the edge of downtown, more free parking on nights and weekends is available. There are more than 950 parking spaces available at Knox County’s Dwight Kessel Garage, 800 spaces at the privately-owned Riverwalk garage and lots, 56 spaces on the rear deck of the City County Building (open to the public after 5 p.m. weekdays and on weekends), and 2,500 spaces at the City-owned Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum garages.

There are a number of City-owned surface lots as well – 190 spaces on West Jackson Avenue, another 230 on East Jackson, and 170 near World’s Fair Park, just to name some of the larger lots.

Throughout downtown, you can also find many privately-owned surface lots, but they do not offer free night and weekend parking.

Meanwhile, some smaller-scale work remains to be done at State Street Garage in the coming weeks.

The biggest task is an upgrade to the Clinch Avenue entrance, which is expected to remain closed through July. (The Union Avenue and State Street entrances and exits are open. The State Street entrance during the expansion project was widened and realigned.)

The other items on the to-do list are fairly small, compared with the complexity of constructing new decks. Crews will be caulking, installing entrance canopies, repairing sidewalks around the garage and adding landscaping.

The Christman Co. is the project’s general contractor. The project manager is the Public Building Authority. The architect is McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects.

A new elevator now connects the top floor of the State Street Garage with Central Street.

A note about accessibility in State Street Garage: There are now elevators servicing both the State Street and the Central Street sides of the garage – meaning, for the first time, it will be much easier for anyone with mobility issues to park and be able to navigate the steep climb from Central up to State and Gay streets. 

Using the pedestrian walkway connecting Gay Street to the garage, a person with a disability soon will be able to get from the middle of downtown to the Old City without the elevation barrier.
Posted by evreeland On 03 July, 2019 at 1:01 PM