Note: This story was updated at 2:15 p.m. July 7.
Installation of the interactive fountain at the center of Jackson Square could start July 27 and last four weeks, according to an estimated construction timeline.
The sidewalks and the majority of the parking lot have been finished, and Roger Flynn, acting Oak Ridge city engineer, said he has discussed project completion with Rich Construction, the contractor for the $1 million rebuild of the Jackson Square parking lot.
Construction started in January, and enough paving work was completed that merchants and vendors were able to have the annual Lavender Festival at Jackson Square on June 20. Renovations are expected to be complete by the end of August.
Flynn told merchants in a June 24 email that the remaining work is expected to take place in this order:
- Rich Construction would not be on site the remainder of the week ending June 26.
- The irrigation contractor would begin work on Monday of last week (the week of June 29-July 3), and the company is expected to be on site for five to eight days. During this time, Rich will return for cleanup.
- The landscaping contractor will be following the irrigation contractor and will begin installing planting that will not be affected by future work.
- The concrete contractor was expected to pour handicap ramps the week of June 29-July 3. Additional concrete work will take place near Razzleberry’s during the next two weeks, Flynn said.
In a follow-up email on Monday, July 6, Flynn said the work started last week, but since the fountain isn’t expected to ship until July 20, the work can be done anytime within that period. The extra concrete work can also be done any time in the next several days, depending upon the weather.
The fountain ship date is July 20. Depending on transit time, fountain installation should begin on July 27 and take four weeks, Flynn said in the June 24 email to merchants. The electrical contractor will be doing various work during this period, such as the power pedestals and light poles.
The remaining paving will take place at the appropriate time, Flynn said.
“I anticipate Rogers Group Inc. will coordinate this with their activity on the Blankenship Field parking lot,” he said.
Flynn said the Jackson Square project will likely be completed the week of August 24, weather permitting and assuming all of the equipment is accounted for and functioning.
Merchants have asked why customers can’t park in the partially paved parking lot. In his June 24 email, Flynn said there are six entities that must approve this during construction. At that time, the city manager, the city’s risk manager, and Tennessee Municipal League, the city’s insurance carrier, had all agreed, and Rich Construction has no objection.
On Tuesday, July 7, Flynn said the Tennessee Department of Transportation had also agreed. Officials had sought approval from everyone they thought should be considered.
“All of the parties involved approved partial use of the parking lot,” Flynn said. “The city was going to install ‘Use at Your Own Risk’ signs.”
But now Rich Construction’s attorney, who wasn’t thought previously to be involved, has objected, Flynn said.
See earlier story here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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