Updated By: Kevin Clark
May 19, 2014 11:00pm
Tallahassee city officials announced the construction of a large LED sculpture to be unveiled this fall. The goal is to have it built before FSU students resume classes after the summer.
The artwork will be placed in the center of a roundabout which is being built at Gaines Street and Woodward Avenue.
FSU's Master Craftsman approached the city about the project. They say the sculpture will capture the essence of the area, and city officials agree.
"What we don't really have necessarily is that one thing that says this is Gaines Street," said Steve Shafer, City Engineer. "And this piece of artwork we think will be exactly that. It will be something that when you see this, you'll think immediately Gaines Street, you'll think immediately Tallahassee, and that can only be a good thing."
The sculpture will be a part of the 1.5 million dollar phase of construction around Gaines Street.
The city wants to make the area around the street more pedestrian and retail-friendly.
Updated By: Winnie Wright
May 19, 2014 5:30pm
Tallahassee, FL - The renovation of the Gaines street corridor has been underway for the last few years. Steps one and two are complete with a mix of restaurants and shopping. According to the city of Tallahassee, step three will feature a 20-foot-tall, 18-foot-wide glass sculpture will be featured in a roundabout under construction bordering Florida State's campus.
"I think when folks see this art work, football fans in particular see it. A lot of people say it looks like a spear. That's planted in the center of the roundabout. And of course, that with the backdrop of the university will be an exciting vision for a lot of football fans", says City Engineer, Steve Shafer.
Shafer says the construction is expected to be completed this fall.
Construction is a familiar site near Gaines St. and Woodward Ave.
"There's always going to be an inconvenience with a project like this. Gaines St. is a major traffic corridor," Steve Shafer, City Engineer said.
Just a few months after construction ended on Madison and Gaines Street, more construction started just one block over.
"We're trying to make this a place that people come for the retail that's here now and that's been here in the past and really make it a comfortable place to walk and shop and just to be," Shafer said.
Stage three of the project is estimated to cost around 1.5 million dollars and the entire project is expected to cost 12 million dollars, which is partially being paid for by the penny sales tax.
"We're going to continue taking some of the utilities underground, putting in the wide sidewalks, enhanced lighting and that kind of thing, but the round about is definitely the center piece," Shafer said.
What crews are working on now are major storm drains that will eliminate flooding in the area.
"When we got a road closure like this, it definitely impacts the traffic flow and that can impact business," Shafer said.
Many of the businesses affected by the construction say all the inconveniences will be worth it.
"The reason we came in here is exactly what you see going on. All the development and all the growth. I think that the future of this area is going to be the epicenter of Tallahassee entertainment," Ryan Prodesky, VP Marketing 101 Management said.
It is important to note that all stores and restaurants near the construction site are still open for business.
The roundabout is scheduled to be finished by the end of August.
News Release: City of Tallahassee
Beginning May 5, the City of Tallahassee will close the intersection of Gaines Street and Woodward Avenue as Phase III of the Gaines Street Project continues. Gaines Street will be closed to through traffic from Lake Bradford Road / Stadium Drive to Railroad Avenue. Woodward Avenue will be closed south of Madison Street. Opening of the new intersection is scheduled for August 22 before the start of the fall 2014 university semester.
Detour routes will assist motorists travelling in the area. Business access signs will be clearly marked.
Local access for residents and businesses in the area will be maintained. Access to Bob’s Auto Repair and Master Craftsmen Studio will be maintained from the Lake Bradford Road/Stadium Drive intersection. Urban Outfitters will be accessible from Madison Street, while THE LOFTS and all other businesses will be accessible from Gaines Street east of the project.
Westbound through traffic on Gaines Street will be detoured at Railroad Avenue north to Pensacola Street.
Eastbound through traffic coming from Stadium Drive or Lake Bradford Road will be detoured north to W. St. Augustine Street.
Westbound traffic on Madison will be detoured north to W. Pensacola Street.
Traffic from Gay Street and from Stone Valley Road will not be allowed to head west, unless accessing one of the businesses.
This closure is part of Phase III of the Gaines Street project, which began March 1. Construction activities include:
Motorists are advised to use caution in the area and allow a little extra time for their commute. As a reminder, speeding fines are doubled in construction zones when workers are present. Please slow down for your safety and that of the crew.
The Gaines Street Project is part of the City Commission’s goal to create an 18-hour, pedestrian friendly downtown. Since the beginning of the project, the district has seen more than $240 million of new development. This vital link between both area universities and downtown is an urban corridor with public art displays, businesses and live/work spaces.
To stay up-to-date on the Gaines Street project and happenings in the neighborhood, check out the project’s Facebook page or follow @GainesStreet on Twitter. Information is also available on Talgov.com/Gaines.