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Officials pick colors on new Jackson Avenue ramps to stay historically accurate

The new ramps, connecting Jackson Avenue and Gay Street in the Old City, are set to be done by Dec. 8.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Landscape architects, construction workers and officials are putting the final touches on an $8.7 million project to build new ramps on Jackson Avenue.

They're picking the colors for the new ramps, and said they're trying to stay historically accurate and match surroundings in the Old City. Officials from Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers said they needed to make three color selections for the project.

One choice was for the colored concrete for the sidewalk, bridge railing and bridge deck under the pavers. They said that the colored concrete will intentionally not be sealed, so a slightly darker color was chosen to account for fading over time.

They decided on Solomon Colors' "Driftwood" for the concrete.

Officials said they wanted to match the color of the Gay Street Viaduct, and that the ramps will get a sandblast finish that exposes the aggregate and gives it a more natural look.

Next, officials said they had to pick the brick veneer finish for the spaces under one of the ramps.  They said that the Concrete Masonry Unit's walls are load-bearing, but the brick veneers would make the area more attractive.

Officials chose a darker color with a tan mortar, called "Moultrie," made by Meridian Brick.

Posted by City of Knoxville - Government on Tuesday, October 13, 2020

RELATED: Driving you Crazy: Jackson Avenue Ramps

“We chose this because it looks like an aged brick and resembles the historical look of the original ramps,” Cassy M. Goldston with Vaught & Melton Consulting Engineers said in a press release.

The final color choice was for the concrete poured on the lower sections of each ramp. The original pavers will be placed on the upper parts of the ramps, to match the look of the early 1900s pavers.

Officials decided to select the "garnet" color by Solomon Colors. It has a narrower grout line which gives it a more distinct paver stone appearance, officials said.

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