Larry Di Giovanni/News Knox County Administrator Jason Booth and county Commissioner Teresa Bemiller show the new traffic flow pattern at the Knox County Courthouse parking lot on East Chestnut Street, where the new entrance was the former exit — a switch made to help avoid traffic congestion. The congestion often resulted from the Knox County Service Center parking lot being across the street.
Larry Di Giovanni/News
Knox County Administrator Jason Booth and county Commissioner Teresa Bemiller show the new traffic flow pattern at the Knox County Courthouse parking lot on East Chestnut Street, where the new entrance was the former exit — a switch made to help avoid traffic congestion. The congestion often resulted from the Knox County Service Center parking lot being across the street.

MOUNT VERNON — Changes in traffic flow have been made for two Knox County-owned parking lots on East Chestnut Street, following the sealing and restriping of one of those parking lots — the Knox County Courthouse parking lot — last weekend.

The courthouse parking lot, which is primarily a lot for public use and has approximately 60 spaces, is located on East Chestnut between the courthouse and the Knox County Service Center. It was double-sealed and had new directional striping painted on at a cost of $6,000, county Administrator Jason Booth said this week. Work was performed by Black Cat Sealing of Fredericktown. Across the street next to the former Central School is the larger Knox County Service Center parking lot of about 130 spaces, which primarily serves county employees.

The sealing project provided an opportunity for traffic flow improvement in order to reduce traffic congestion and enhance safety, Booth said. The entrance and exit to the courthouse parking lot were switched, with new signs painted in the lot marking the changes and even more signs to come, he offered. One reason for the switch is the former exit at the courthouse lot, which is now the entrance, is across the street from the Service Center Parking Lot’s entrance/exit. This created congestion when drivers in each lot lined up to exit out onto Chestnut Street, noted Knox County Commissioner Teresa Bemiller.

Another reason for the switch is that the new entrance is next to the handicapped parking lot and its eight spaces behind the Knox County Service Center, which is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Handicapped clients can roll their wheelchairs to the back of the service center, where an elevator takes them to different levels of the building.

Yellow directional signs direct those exiting the handicapped lot across the courthouse parking lot and to the exit, the lot’s former entrance. Courthouse lot drivers can exit left or right onto East Chestnut, with those exiting left being close to North Gay Street. The new exit does not have a “competing” exit across the street.

Improvements to the larger Knox County Service Center parking lot were completed last year and were substantial in size in scope, Booth said. Buildings needed to be removed that divided the property so that one large parking lot would be created. There was substantial engineering, grading, and drainage work that needed completion. The overall cost of its parking lot improvements were about $450,000.

In other county matters, online bidding started Thursday at 5 p.m. and will continue until July 6 at 5 p.m. involving Knox County-owned items up for bid that were formerly stored at the Central School building. The building is now empty and ready for a $4 million renovation project to be taken on by Modern Builders of Mount Vernon, converting the site into offices for the county board of elections and Veterans Services Office.

Online auction items for sale include furniture such as different types of folding tables, wooden and metal desks, coffee tables, school desks, file cabinets of assorted size, bookcases, metal stands, conference chairs, and miscellaneous items such as corn hole board sets, stall dividers, and projector screens. The items are listed online at www.TheRuckmanGroup.com.

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Larry Di Giovanni: 740-397-5333 or larry@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews