Downtown Sidewalks Improvement Project
[Photo: newly constructed "diamond patterned" sidewalk on Call Street, east of Monroe Street.]
Work has begun on a City of Tallahassee project to renovate sidewalks throughout the city's downtown core. In October 2011, the City Commission approved a plan to improve and replace sidewalks in the downtown area in order to:
- improve accessibility,
- provide a more consistent sidewalk pattern throughout the area, and
- further enhance downtown as a great place to work, shop and visit.
For progress updates, see the "Current Status" section, below.
The $2.4 million project will rebuild approximately 60 block-long segments of sidewalks in the area bounded by Tennessee Street on the north, Gadsden Street on the east, Pensacola Street on the south and Bronough Street on the west. Repairs will be completed one block at a time to minimize impacts on businesses and pedestrians, though several different sidewalk segments will be under construction at any given time. Work will be limited, reduced or stopped altogether during local special events or periods of activity
(downtown festivals, legislative session, etc.).
The map below details the area to be constructed (current/next area of construction highlighted in green):
- March 27, 2013:
- Work is underway on Call Street, between Monroe and Gadsden Streets.
Note: Motorists in the vicinity may experience brief intermittent delays at this time.
- The next area of work will be Park Avenue, between Monroe and Calhoun Streets. This will be on the eastbound side of Park Avenue (south side of the street only).
- June 1, 1012:
- Work has been completed on the Bronough Street/College Avenue section.
- May 4, 2012:
- College Avenue will be closed between Duval and Bronough Streets on Saturday, May 5. The City's contractor will be doing demolition work related to our Downtown Sidewalk Project. Our goal is to have the demolition done by Sunday and have new finished sidewalks on the entire south side of the block by Friday, May 11. Citizens should expect minor delays next week in this area, due to sidewalk construction activities.
- April 18, 2012:
- Work has been completed on the south side of Park Avenue, between Bronough and Duval Streets.
- Work continues on Bronough Street between Park and College Avenues, and on College Avenue between Bronough and Duval Streets.
- March 28, 2012:
- Work has been completed on the south and east sides of the block bounded by College Avenue, Gadsden, Jefferson, and Calhoun Streets.
- Work continues on the block bounded by Park Avenue, Duval, Pensacola, and Bronough Streets.
Design, Construction, and Planning Challenges
The downtown area is the most challenging to address, in part because of the hilly terrain and because the funding to address ADA issues can only be used to address accessibility problems, not to replace entire city blocks of sidewalks. The concern was that to fix only the ADA issues would result in a hodgepodge of patchwork sidewalk treatments in the downtown area.
The City of Tallahassee reached out to the Downtown Improvement Authority (DIA), which represents all property owners in the downtown area. The City shared the available options with their associated costs with the DIA, and the board ultimately selected a diamond scoring pattern for the downtown sidewalks. This is the design that has been used on the new Gaines Street renovation and is seen as both attractive and cost effective. The DIA board voiced its support for having consistency throughout the area to the best extent possible.
The City of Tallahassee's Public Works staff identified funding available from a variety of City projects. In October, the City Commission allocated $1.1 million from these projects to be utilized with the $1.3 million already available in the ADA sidewalk funds, so that a consistent solution can be applied throughout downtown.
There will be some areas where the current stamped "Tallahassee pattern" design will remain because the sidewalks are still in good shape and meet ADA requirements, or are being addressed separately. These sidewalk areas include the Federal Courthouse, the Aloft Hotel, First Baptist Church, City Hall, Kleman Plaza and the park-side sidewalks along the Chain of Parks.
Monroe and Tennessee streets are not included in this work, as these sidewalks are owned by the State of Florida.
The work will be completed one block at a time to avoid long stretches of closed sidewalks (although there may be several blocks under construction in different areas of downtown at the same time). Work will be limited, reduced or stopped during busy seasons (legislative session, special events like Springtime Tallahassee, etc.). Completion of the entire downtown sidewalk project is expected by late 2013.
For details on upcoming downtown events which this project schedule will work around, please see our Current/Scheduled Downtown Events page.
The total $2.4 million investment in downtown sidewalks is also an investment in local businesses and jobs, as the construction work will be performed by local companies.
For more information on the downtown sidewalk project, please contact Steve Shafer with Public Works, Capital Programs, at (850) 891-8234 or via email.