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Founders Park project nearing completion

October 19th, 2013 4:58 pm by Nathan Baker

Founders Park project nearing completion

Major construction on the 5-acre park is expected to be concluded by late November or early December, Johnson City Public Works Director Phil Pindzola said Thursday.


The $2.8 million Founders Park project should be completed near the end of November, according to city officials.


Major construction on the 5-acre park is expected to be concluded by late November or early December, Johnson City Public Works Director Phil Pindzola said Thursday, but the planting of some of the park’s decorative landscaping may have to wait until the spring.


“Most elements that can be done will be done,” Pindzola said. “The things that aren’t going to be done won’t inhibit the functionality of the project.”


Workers are currently grading the site and building a retaining wall along Brush Creek, which will eventually cascade over three waterfalls along the length of the park.


The rock base has also been started on the walkways that will wind through the park, and concrete curbs near the creek have been poured.


Pindzola said excavation is still needed on the south side of the creek, and topsoil will soon be laid over much of the ground.


Once the major construction is completed, city crews will patch the roadway at the intersection of South Boone, Sevier and Commerce streets to repair damage done by heavy equipment.


Pindzola said the curbing on the streets will eventually be replaced and the road will be resurfaced.


A 48-inch storm drain not included as part of the original $2.8 million Founders Park project will be built under West State of Franklin Road into the park to connect with the creek.


That project, which still needs to be bid out, will move excess flood water from the future Tupelo Honey site into the creek.


Pindzola said progress is also continuing on the Boone Street detention basin, as workers pour sidewalks along King Street.


Construction on the basin should be completed by the middle of next week, he said.


The site still needs to be seeded, but Pindzola said he wasn’t sure when that will take place.


In the downtown core, the public works director said crews should soon be finished with their current projects on Buffalo and Roan streets.


At Buffalo and Market, colored concrete has been poured at the crosswalks and should soon be sealed.


On the 400 block of South Roan Street, which has been closed since early September for utilities upgrades, Pindzola said crews will soon move in to replace curbs and sidewalks and repave the street.


Once that section is completed, likely by next week, the second phase will begin on South Roan between Main and Market streets.


That section should be finished near the end of November, Pindzola said, then the third phase —  from Market to Buffalo street will begin.


“Roan Street will be altered into next year,” Pindzola said. “It’s just a slow process to replace all these utilities. Some of them date from the 1890s and even earlier.”


Next year, the city will install medians on West State of Franklin in front of the CC&O Railroad Depot, where Tupelo Honey Cafe expects to open in the spring.


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