Tallahassee, Florida --
The City of Tallahassee will soon shift construction on Gaines Street to the north side (westbound) lanes from the south side (eastbound) lanes. This change marks a major milestone for the physical reconfiguration of the road, which is being rebuilt from a 2-way, 4-lane road to a 2-way, 2-lane street from Woodward Avenue to Monroe Street. Currently, construction is limited to the portion of Gaines Street from just east of Railroad Avenue to Monroe Street.
“The transformation to date is remarkable. Walking down Gaines Street now gives you a glimpse of what the whole road will look like upon completion,” said Roxanne Manning, Gaines Street Project manager. “While it is a significant change, we want the improvements to meld with the existing feel of the area. It’s important to note that during construction, Gaines Street has remained an active place, with businesses open, and our goal is to grow that activity over the coming years.”
Construction activities during this portion of the project include:
Replacing curb, gutter and sidewalks, including building wider sidewalks in many places to encourage pedestrian activity;
Repaving the street;
Upgrading traffic signals;
Installing enhanced crosswalks (both at signalized and mid-block locations);
Installing special lighting and street signs to designate the Gaines Street District; and
Maximizing the availability of on-street parking.
While work is not 100 percent complete on the south side of the road, as it will require connection with work that still needs to take place on the median and north side, the majority of the improvements have been made.
To facilitate this shift in construction, beginning on Monday, Nov. 29, Gaines Street between Railroad Avenue and Monroe Street will be closed overnight from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The nighttime closure is expected to last for approximately one week. Adams Street between Gaines Street and Bloxham Street is currently closed and will remain closed for another week to 10 days. Detours around the closures will be clearly posted.
After this change, the eastbound lanes will reopen to traffic, one for each direction of travel. The westbound lanes will be closed. Access, however, to local businesses along Gaines Street will be maintained at all times.
Later this year, the City will bid out similar construction work to take place from Macomb Street west to Woodward Avenue. Full completion of the Gaines Street Project is anticipated by early 2012, pending no unforeseen circumstances.
The improvements are designed to make Gaines Street a distinct district in Tallahassee with cultural, business and residential developments to complement the existing retail community along Gaines Street.
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.
For more information on the Gaines Street project, please visit Talgov.com/Gaines. Information is also available by liking Gaines Street on Facebook or by following @GainesStreet on Twitter.