The City of Tallahassee will soon shift construction activities to the north side of Gaines Street. In order to accomplish this, the road will be completely closed to all traffic between Railroad Avenue and Duval Street over the weekend of March 5-6. This closure will allow crews time to complete necessary storm drain installations as well as set up the barricades and signage for a new traffic pattern.
When the road reopens on Monday, March 7, Gaines Street will be a one-lane, one-way westbound road between Duval Street and Railroad Avenue. Traffic headed eastbound on Gaines Street will be rerouted at Railroad Avenue north to Madison Street, which has three available eastbound lanes.
The new traffic pattern will give construction crews enough space to safely build median islands. This change signals the home stretch for the physical reconfiguration of the eastern portion of the road.
While work is not quite finished on the south side of the road, many of the improvements have been completed. Taking a stroll on the south side of Gaines Street today will give you a glimpse of what the entire road will feel like upon completion, including wide sidewalks, distinctive lighting and new landscaping.
Detours around the March 5-6 weekend closure will be clearly posted. The new one-way traffic pattern through and around the construction zone will be clearly posted as well. In addition to traditional construction signage, special signs will be placed on Madison Street to help direct motorists back to Gaines Street in order to access the area’s businesses. A vacant City-owned lot on the corner of Gaines Street and St. Michael Street will be temporarily open for use as a public parking lot.
Later this year, the City will bid out similar construction work to take place on the project’s second phase from Macomb Street west to Woodward Avenue. Full completion of the Gaines Street Project is anticipated by early 2012, pending no unforeseen circumstances.
The Gaines Street Project is part of the City Commission’s goal to create an 18-hour, pedestrian friendly downtown. During the coming years, as the economy improves and development demand increases, this vital link between both area universities and downtown will become an urban corridor with public art displays, businesses and live/work spaces.