Streetscapes nears completion

Design and Construction Services Inc., representative Thomas Coggins, left, and Bradley Rich work on the downtown streetscapes project near B Street.

Drivers passing through downtown Lenoir City should see a project starting to take shape.

The downtown streetscapes, which is in its second phase, has been underway since April. Work was scheduled to take eight months.

“We expect to have it completed by Christmas,” Amber Scott, Lenoir City administrator, said. “They feel that they’re right on target. Actually, we were asked by (Tennessee Department of Transportation) if we felt that we would need a contract extension because the contract expires I think Jan. 31 and the engineering firm actually told them ‘no,’ that they feel that we’ll have it completed.

“I know one of the last things they’ve got to do is pave on Broadway and up B Street,” she added. “They’ve actually got a cold weather paving plan that’s being approved by TDOT, so they feel that they will be able to accomplish that.”

Work has been handled by Design and Construction Services Inc.

Thomas Coggins, DCSI project superintendent, said the project is 90 percent complete.

“We’re going to start milling next Monday if weather permits. You know how weather is,” Coggins said. “It will probably take us a week and a half to mill and then we’ll start paving. In that area we’ll be through with getting all of the sidewalk.”

Work includes roadway reconstruction and resurfacing, new sidewalks and crosswalks, storm sewer replacements and adjustments, signal loop replacement, signage and pavement markings, roadway lighting and underground electrical work.

“I think everybody down there is excited about it, and I have to give the contractor and the engineering firm kudos on this one because they’ve really worked hard to keep the business owners informed of what’s going on,” Scott said. “There’s one particular inspector down there, I don’t want to mention his name, but I was told by the shop owners he was seen going into the shops and saying, ‘Is there anything you all need? Is there any issues that you’re having?’

“I think that’s very important when you’re dealing with people down there trying to run a business,” she added.

Central Park phase two

As streetscapes begins to come to an end, city officials will begin to focus more on Central Park’s phase two for a splash pad, pavilion and additional parking.

“We’ve met with Michael Brady (Inc.), which was the firm that ended up getting awarded the contract,” Zack Cusick, Lenoir City Parks and Recreation Department coordinator, said. “So right now we’re still in the planning and design stage, but we’ve at least awarded the contract to a firm so we can move forward past that. Hopefully here soon once we get all the plans and designs officially approved then hopefully we can move forward and start construction.”

Cusick estimated ground could be broken on the project as soon as January 2020.

Lenoir City Council in July gave the go-ahead for a contract with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for grant funding for Central Park’s phase two. The city was awarded a $500,000 state matching grant in August 2018 through the Local Parks and Recreation Fund.

No timetable has been given on when designs will be in city possession, Cusick said.

“It takes a lot for them to set up the designs and get the plans ready,” he said. “Might be able to have something to look at and get approved and be able to move forward from there.”