$833,106 Makeover Planned For First Street At Site Of Failed Funicular

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
When the original incline placed up First Street did not work and the vehicle was carted away for scrap, it left a wide hole going up the steep hill. The city is planning to fill in the hole and landscape the site.
When the original incline placed up First Street did not work and the vehicle was carted away for scrap, it left a wide hole going up the steep hill. The city is planning to fill in the hole and landscape the site.

A $833,106 make-over is planned for First Street at the failed funicular going up the steep hill from Market Street toward the Walnut Street Bridge.

The new project is called "The Scramble Interactive Streetscape."

The City Council is being asked to approve a contract with P&C Construction Company of Chattanooga to do the work.

The total cost would be up to $916,606 if there are overruns.

Officials said it will be a public-private partnership.

Initially in the 21st Century Waterfront, it was envisioned that pedestrians would go up the hill via the funky rail car. However, the idea did not prove workable and the vehicle was finally carted away.

The plan will include filling in the funicular trench and providing new landscaping and lighting.

The city offered the old funicular for sale in 2015 and Sam Sachs of Cookeville had the only bid. He got it for $100. Mr. Sachs said he had hoped to make a nice profit from scrapping the one-block contraption. But he said the price of aluminum was so low at the time that "I'm not going to make any money off of it."

 


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