KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The two new State Street Garage decks are getting closer to opening, the city said. 

Right now, they say they are in the process of putting the new elevators on the west (State Street) side of the garage into operation will be a major stride forward.

The city said there is currently no elevator service in the garage right now. But the two side-by-side elevators on the State Street side of the garage await a final inspection, scheduled next week.

"That's going to be very convenient for people with accessibility issues or women with strollers. It'll be a very nice amenity," Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett said.

Another priority next week is pouring concrete and finishing work on the wider and realigned State Street entrance, as well as sidewalk repairs, all currently underway.

The $11 million City investment will create 570 much-needed new parking spaces in the heart of downtown. State Street Garage will accommodate about 1,600 vehicles once the expansion is complete and the new decks are open.

"We've known there's been a big need to add some parking," Emmett said.  "Eventually we may add some spaces up top for the upper two or three floors for some apartments or condos. We recognize that this is a central part of downtown." 

Looking ahead to the week of June 17 and beyond, crews will switch from work on the State Street entrance to the Clinch Avenue garage entrance, which is expected to remain closed into July. Union Avenue and State Street entrances and exits will be open by the time the Clinch Avenue entrance closes.

Crews also will be caulking, installing entrance canopies, and repairing additional sidewalks on Clinch and State.