October 3, 2007 - The City of Knoxville
will begin construction on the new Knoxville Station Transit Center
in November after receiving the final approval for the $27 million
The Federal Transit Administration issued its finding that the
project would have no significant environmental impact to the city
during the last week in September.
That approval was the last one the city needed to move forward
with the work and allowed Knoxville to close the deal to purchase
the 1.57 acre tract at the east end of the Church Avenue Viaduct.
It is the current location of American Accessories and the city
purchased the property and building for $1.85 million.
"I'm very pleased with the decision of the Federal Transit
Administration and we're eager to get started making this much-talked
about station into a reality," said Mayor Bill Haslam. "This
has been a long process and a lot of people have worked very hard
to get us to this point."
"In particular I want to thank our Senior Director of Policy
Development Bill Lyons; Jeff Galyon with the Public Building Authority;
Madeleine Weil, the city's deputy director of policy development;
Law Director Morris Kizer and Cindy McGinnis, general manager of
Knoxville Area Transit," Haslam added. "This new station
is much-needed and it will serve our citizens very well for many
years to come."
Galyon, the PBA's director of project development and information
technology, said that currently planners are finishing up the preliminary
engineering and moving forward with the final design of the building.
He said that it is tentatively slated for completion in the fall
Transit consultants and a design committee had looked at more than
30 potential sites downtown before deciding that the best place
for the new Knoxville Station would at the east end of the Church
Avenue Viaduct near the city's Civic Coliseum.
They based that decision on a combination of location, construction
costs and operating costs.
"This will provide great service to the thousands of people
who use public transportation in our city and will make it an even
more attractive option in the future," Lyons said. "We
want to grow our ridership and this will help us do it."
The project is being funded with a mix of federal, state and local
fund with the city providing about $3.5 million for the project.