Site work at CentrePointe will close block of Upper Street Sunday

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comDecember 13, 2013 

Site work on the long-awaited CentrePointe development in downtown Lexington will cause traffic headaches starting this weekend, city officials said Friday.

On Sunday, the block of Upper Street between Main and Vine streets will be closed from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. while crews set up traffic controls. Traffic will be detoured to Mill Street, according to a news release.

The CentrePointe development, which consists of a block bounded by Main, Vine, Upper and Limestone streets, received permits for lane closings and for grading earlier this week. The development, which is to include a 700-space underground parking garage, an office building, retail space, apartment buildings and a hotel, received final Urban County Council approval on Tuesday.

The Webb Companies, the developer for the project, has agreed to set aside an additional $4.4 million in case parts of the project don't come to fruition and the site has to be restored. That was in addition to showing the city that there was financing for the garage and the office building.

The project has been stalled since 2008 and has been controversial because an entire block of historical buildings was razed for the development.

Developer Dudley Webb said earlier this week that the project will begin with excavation of the parking garage, followed by construction on the office building.

The garage will take between four and five months to build. Construction on the hotel and apartment complex would follow construction of the office building, he said.

Webb has said he has a national engineering firm that needs to be in the office space by May 2015. That's why the office building must be completed first, he said.

City officials warned Friday that site preparation will shut down sidewalks around the CentrePointe block. The left-turn lane from Limestone onto Main Street will be closed 24 hours a day. On-street parking meters bordering the site also will be eliminated. Barriers and fencing will be erected around the site.

The city's permit allows limited blasting, which is required for excavation of the underground parking garage. The Webb Companies will have to get permission from the state before blasting on the site can occur.

Webb said Friday that blasting at the site will not take place for at least another month.

Webb said that 12 feet of soil must be removed before blasting begins. Webb said that the blasting will only occur at set hours during the day.

"We will let everyone know well in advance before that occurs," said Derek Paulsen, commissioner of the Department of Planning.

Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter: @HLCityhall.

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