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Portion of State Street closed, expansion project underway

4:33 PM, Jan 21, 2013   |    comments
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A portion of State Street near the parking garage is closed due to an expansion project that's underway.

A construction crew is adding another level to the State Street Garage, which will create about 250 more parking spaces.

Crews brought in a heavy piece of equipment Monday in order to do concrete work.  People who have monthly parking are still able to park in the garage, but other people heading downtown will need to find other areas to park.  

If there are no delays, the project will be completed by this summer.

You can always check out progress on the project at this blog.

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Parking in downtown Knoxville can sometimes be a daunting task. Some drivers roll through the streets for 10, 20, and sometimes 30 minutes or longer trying to find a place to park their vehicle.

Knoxville resident Christian Davis said, "I personally don't like parking downtown."

Sarah Russell, also of Knoxville, said, "It's a hassle. You have to drive around for a long time to find a spot."

Construction is underway to expand the State Street parking garage. Crews will add another level to the garage, which will create 240 additional spaces.

City of Knoxville Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett said, "This first phase is pretty critical to us. We will be moving a crane onto State Street. This crane will be there for approximately six weeks. It's going to be lifting precast concrete in place proceeding from south to north of State Street. State Street will be closed during the day. Open nights and weekends, we hope, pending construction timing."

Emmett also said the garage and one lane of Clinch Avenue will be closed as needed.

Although the construction may cause a few headaches for drivers, Emmett believes the end result will make things better for everyone.

Emmett said, "It's going to help our residents, it's going to help economic development, and it's going to help our businesses downtown."

Both Davis and Russell are happy to hear about the expansion of the State Street parking garage.

Russell said, "I think that's a great idea so then I won't have to drive around forever to find a spot."

Davis said, "That's going to increase the number of people coming here too because more people are going to find parking and want to come down here. I think that will be great."

Phase one of the expansion project is expected to be complete by March 5, 2013. Then, the next phase will take place on S. Central Street. The entire project is expected to be complete sometime in June 2013 or July 2013.

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