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Workers mending downtown canopies

With the East Elk and Sycamore intersection improvements largely completed, the focus in downtown has now Photo by Brandon Hicksturned to canopies over the sidewalks.
Elizabethton’s City Council recently approved two projects for the downtown area. In addition to the road work at the intersection, council appropriated $50,000 to make improvements to the canopies over the sidewalks.
Elizabethton Purchasing Director Gerald Harrell said work on the canopies is being done by Floyd Storie Roofing Contractors, who submitted the only bid, $48,600.
Work crews can now be seen working on repairing a section of canopies in the 500 block of East Elk Avenue near the Crow’s Nest. The work started at the beginning of the block at Picket Fence Antiques.
Harrell said three sections of the canopy roofing panels were being repaired in this phase of the work. The first section is 78 feet long; the other two sections are each 100 feet long.
Elizabethton City Manager Jerome Kitchens said the plan is to work on the canopy roofs in sections to repair the worst areas first, then move on to finish the rest of the canopies over time. To do all of the canopy repairs at once had an estimated cost of $500,000.
“We can’t afford to do all of the canopies at one time,” Kitchens said. “It is something we are working at. It is not a matter of doing everything at once. We are working a little bit at a time to improve things.”
Kitchens said the section that is being renovated currently was the area with the worst leaks. Work crews are replacing the roof flashing, fixing the drainage systems and installing a new roofing membrane over the canopies.
“We went down and looked at the canopies when it was raining,” he said. “This section had the worst leaks.”
Harrell added the runoff water in that area would leak around the edges between the canopies and the buildings. Water had also been running into electric signs, which was a fire and safety hazard, which led to some signs being removed from buildings until the repairs could be made.
The city’s goal is to have all of the sidewalk canopies repaired over time. After July 1, when the city’s next fiscal year starts, an additional $50,000 will be available to repair another portion of the canopies.