It is an eyesore that is sure to transform into an enticing attraction once the holidays start rolling around.
The breezeway in the Downtown Johnson City area is now one step closer to nearing completion.
Things have picked up since then, and we could see improvements as early as November. All that is left is submitting the drawings to the city, next month.
Once that gets approved, the contractor will begin the work on popular breezeway shortcut.
Johnson City director of facilities management, Randy Trivette said, “One of the things that we did and since we have been working on this, we have to do some research to ensure that once we have this wall back, that it’s a solid structurally sound wall.”
He explained the 40-foot wall will have a complete new look before the end of 2019.
“The new veneer wall will be brick, about 15 feet (4.57 m) tall, and then it’ll have a concrete cap that will set on top of that and then there will be metal studs that will go up the remaining height of the wall,” Trivette said.
Tearing down the 50-year-old wall cost about $50,000. The project itself is estimated to cost anywhere between $110,000 and $120,000.
“We’re going to have teardrop lights that will come down from the wall that will shine on the pedestrian path through the breezeway. We’ll also have some condolent there that will move electricity down toward Main Street for parades and festivals, that when we need to have electricity for vendors who are setting up those types of events,” he said.
The lighting layout, as well as the more creative layout, will be handled by the Johnson City Development Authority.
“Will have local artists and local painters who will be able to display their artwork on the wall,” Trivette said. “There will be benches, the lighting will reflect off of the wall.”
Mayor Jenny Brock said having a safe breezeway is imperative so that pedestrians can have ease of access from main street to market street.
“I rode through town, late Friday afternoon and Downtown was packed with pedestrians, with people enjoying what is happening down here. So, it’s just really good to see,” Mayor Brock said.
The attraction will add a some personality to the alleyway, she said.
Mayor Brock said, “I think adding the feature of an attractive breezeway, which will be kind of cool access into town is just going to add to the curb appeal we’re seeing happen down here.”
Another downtown improvement on the horizon is the “Langston Project” which is expected to wrap-up by the end of August.
King Commons is not too far behind. Trivette explained the goal is to have the memory circle finished in time to celebrate Johnson City’s 150th-year anniversary.