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Downtown Streetscape
About the Project

In 2009, the City of Knoxville began design and engineering for a Downtown Streetscape Project which would replace much of the instrastructure in the downtown business district. Overall, the project includes replacement of 19 blocks of the downtown area and is estimated to cost just under $11,000,000.


phase II picture
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In March 2011, Knoxville residents approved a referendum to levy a Local Option Sales & Service Tax, or LOSST, which would pay for Phase II of the Downtown Streetscape Project. This phase will include the 4 blocks surrounding the Marion County Courthouse and Robinson Street between First and Second Street. The project is necessary because much of the infrastructure downtown is extended beyond its useful life...many of the sewers are over 100 years old! All of the underground infrastructure - water, sewer, stormwater and gas/electric/phone utilities as needed - will be replaced. The sidewalks and streets will also be replaced, along with the addition of new light fixtures and the removal of traffic signals.  

streetscape image
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Project Costs

General Items - These general items include mobilization costs, traffic control, construction staking,  testing and other miscellaneous items. General items are associated with every public improvement project and can either be broken out into separate items on a contract or split and applied across all other contractual items. For this project, general items are broken out separately.


Demolition & Grading - The contractor will remove traffic signals, street lights, pavement, sidewalks and existing sewers and plumbing. This item also includes placing a modified subbase underneath the road which is required for public road projects.


Sewers & Drains - A large portion of the project includes replacement of the sanitary sewer main and includes replacement of and additional storm sewers. Unique to this project, the City of Knoxville will be replacing all private sewer connections (portion of the sewer between the sewer main and the building) to ensure infrastructure is new and should not be replaced in the near future.

Water Main & Water Services - The water main and private water services between the main and buildings will also be replaced.


Paving - The costliest item of the project, all streets and sidewalks will be replaced. The sidewalks will include "bumpouts" at pedestrian intersections and concrete pavers will be incorporated into the project to enhance the aesthetics of the streetscape design.


Site & Electrical Work - The traffic signals will be removed completely and all street lights will be replaced with new light fixtures that utilize LED bulbs. This item also includes sodding the Marion County Courthouse lawn after the work is complete.


Total Project Cost  $3,087,346

How much is being spent on making the downtown "pretty"?

The total project cost includes items that could be considered "aesthetic enhancements." These enhancements include concrete pavers ($111,020), limestone accents ($1,760), and decorative lighting fixtures ($216,600) for a total cost of $329,380. If the City of Knoxville opted for regular concrete, with no limestone accents, and purchased regular lighting fixtures, the estimated cost is about 50% of the cost of the aesthetic enhancements. So for the overall project, these "aesthetic enhancements" add about $164,690 to the project which means 95% of the Streetscape project is for necessary infrastructure.   

Project Timeline


Block One: Second Street between Main and Robinson streets, including stormsewer just south of Robinson. The intersection at Main Street will remain open and the intersection at Robinson & Second will remain closed.     08/13 - 11/13
Block Two: Robinson Street between Second and Third streets. The street and intersection at Robinson and Third will remain closed.  3/14 - 6/14 
Block Three: Third Street between Main and Robinson street. The street and intersection at Third and Main will remain closed.  6/14 - 8/14
Block Four: Main Street between Second and Third streets. The street and intersection at Second and Main will remain closed.  3/15 - 7/15
Block Five: Robinson Street between First and Second streets. Both intersections will remain open but the the street will remain closed.  4/15 - 7/15

Aaron Adams

Aaron Adams 
City Manager 
305 S. Third St.
Knoxville, IA 50138

Ph: 641-828-0550 ext. 3

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.