Gaines Transformation Moves Into Second Phase

By: City of Tallahassee Release
By: City of Tallahassee Release

Gaines Transformation Moves Into Second Phase

One-Way Westbound Traffic Starts Monday


The wide sidewalks, beautiful landscaping and road changes that have transformed Gaines Street and brought new visitors and customers to the area will be expanded as construction on the second phase begins on Monday, Jan. 16.


A new traffic pattern is set to begin after the morning rush hour on Monday. Gaines Street will again become a one-way westbound roadway in the new construction area from S. Macomb Street to Woodward Avenue. Eastbound traffic will be detoured at Woodward Avenue north to St. Augustine Street, which is an existing eastbound only corridor. Signage will be in place to assist motorists with the new traffic pattern.


“Throughout this project, the community has been fantastic, especially the business community along Gaines Street,” said City Commissioner Mark Mustian, who was designated by the commission as the lead commissioner on the Gaines Street Project. “We not only want motorists to be alerted to the traffic changes, we also want to ask the community to continue to shop, eat and utilize businesses in this area. The changes on Gaines are unprecedented in Tallahassee and are making it a true destination district,” he added.  


The initial work will be focused on the 500 block of Gaines Street and the intersection of Gaines Street and Railroad Avenue, as these businesses were also impacted by the first phase of construction.


“We want to lessen the impact in this area as much as possible and anticipate having this first part of the work substantially completed in approximately 120 days,” said Gabriel Menendez, director of Public Works for the City. He added that every effort will be made through the entire project to maintain access to businesses.


The first segment runs approximately 750 feet from S. Macomb Street west through the intersection of Gaines Street and Railroad Avenue. The second segment, which will be started after the first segment is substantially completed, will continue the corridor's transformation west to Stone Valley Way.


The initial construction work will take place on the south side of the street (eastbound lanes), and the north side (westbound lanes) will remain open to traffic. A map of the new traffic pattern is available on Talgov.com/Gaines. Motorists are asked to allow more time for their travels in the affected areas and exercise caution on all roadways.


Construction during Phase 2 will include:



  • Reducing the number of traffic lanes from four to two;

  • Replacing curb, gutter and sidewalks, including wider sidewalks in many places to encourage pedestrian activity;

  • Repaving the street;

  • Upgrading traffic signals;

  • Adding median islands and landscaping, including constructing rain gardens where possible;

  • 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.


As part of the Gaines Street Revitalization Plan, Gaines Street is being rebuilt from a 2-way, 4-lane road to a 2-way, 2-lane street with limited on-street parking from Monroe Street to Woodward Avenue. The work along Gaines Street 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.


In summer 2011, work was completed on similar improvements between Monroe and Macomb streets. Also, work has already taken place to replace deteriorating underground utilities infrastructure primarily between Railroad and Woodward avenues, and a portion of the electric lines along the corridor have been relocated.


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