Asheville Streets Division to start downtown sidewalk projects in May

The chipped bricks will be history soon on a portion of College Street sidewalk. An ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk will be installed instead, wider than the structure there for pedestrians now.


“We’re going to get as much width as we can,” said Jerry Yates, Asheville Streets Operation Manager. The hope is to transform the 8-foot-wide sidewalk closer to 10 feet wide.


The section in question is between Rankin and Lexington avenues. So we’re giving everyone a big heads up. Whether you drive or walk this portion of College Street downtown, expect impacts starting May 8.


The street won’t be closed, and neither will the sidewalk — in its entirety — during this work, which could take about a month. Workers will only do 20 feet at a time on the 178-foot section of sidewalk.


Much of the timeline for completion will depend on what workers find under those brick pavers and if any remediation is needed. Years ago, most downtown businesses had vaults under them to accommodate deliveries of coal for heating in winter. Those vaults have to be filled and sealed for safety, when found.


A City Streets Division employee and Downtown Development Specialist Dana Frankel will visit businesses on the stretch prior to the beginning of construction. Businesses adjacent to this portion of sidewalk include Table restaurant, Tops for Shoes, Lexington Corner Market and Adorn Salon.


Generally work will be done 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Granite curbs will accompany the new scored concrete sidewalk.


More sidewalk improvements are in store for in the Central Business District, including on Haywood Street as part of the bonds package approved by voters in the November election. And a portion of sidewalk on Broadway will be under repair the first week of May, between Walnut Street and the alley next to Strada restaurant.


Projects such as this are informed by sidewalk repair priorities identified by the Asheville Downtown Association, Downtown Commission and other feedback from the community.