KINGSPORT ‚¬ The Kingsport Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization voted to recommend $1.7 million towards improving the entire length of Main Street from Clinchfield to Sullivan.‚ ‚ Earlier this year, the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen identified $500,000, which will cover the local portion of the funds.‚ This decision puts in motion the design process which could take up to 12 months.‚ Assuming no delays work should begin in the spring of 2017.
Over the past century, the soils that support the roadway have weakened tremendously.‚ If only repaved, Main Streets new asphalt surface will begin to fail within the first few years.‚ Therefore, fixing the root cause of the failure, the unsuitable soil conditions, is the primary goal of this project.‚ Additionally, it is anticipated that streetscape enhancement will create a much more pleasing entry into downtown.‚ The proposed Main Street improvement joins a list of other roadway improvements such as Sullivan Street and Sevier Avenue that ensure the City is not only maintaining but also reinvesting in its infrastructure.
Main Street is a main gateway into Downtown Kingsport from Eastmans Corporate Business Center, explained Jeff Fleming, Kingsports City Manager.‚ We want it to be an inviting corridor that encourages and supports reinvestment.‚ In recent years, the once industrial corridor began transitioning to other uses.‚ Kingsport Foundry was demolished.‚ The new Kingsport Emergency Communications Center is located on part of that site and plans are in the works for a new Transit Center on the remainder.
Private investors have transformed sections of the Holston Builders Supply into creative reuses such as a multi-purpose sports venue that attracts hundreds of athletes to Downtown Kingsport, Slip Not Belting is now filled with new and pre-owned motorcycle sales, the City Transportation Building is being repurposes as Bellafina Chocolates, an overgrown lot is now The Barking Lot, and Centennial Park is being planned for the corner of Cherokee and Main Street.
The Citys decision to rebuild a substantial portion of Main Street follows their continued commitment to place a greater emphasis on existing infrastructure.‚ ‚ Not only does this project address some serious maintenance issues, but it will also be a substantial improvement for this key downtown corridor, Ryan McReynolds, Assistant City Manager for Operations.‚ The Main Street rebuild is an example of the Board of Mayor and Aldermans commitment to maintaining our existing infrastructure while at the same time moving our City forward.