Design Firms Asked to Show What's Possible for Daylighting Town Branch

Sep 26, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Lexington Downtown Development Authority is looking for ideas on how to possibly bring the Town Branch Creek back to the surface.

Lexington was settled on the banks of the Town Branch Creek, but as the city grew, the water was channeled into an underground tunnel. It emerges from the tunnel in the Cox Street parking lot behind Rupp Arena.

When city leaders began exploring ways to revamp downtown and the area around Rupp, the concept of daylighting Town Branch became part of the discussion.

“It’s a strong idea, it’s something that has been kicked around for years. Now we’re asking the question ‘how are we going to make this happen?’” says Jeff Fugate, Executive Director of the Down Development Authority.

A Request for Qualifications was issued this week with the goal of identifying design and architecture firms who could take the vision further.

“We’ll sort through the resumes or the qualifications and come up with a short list, probably invite some in to interview, and then engage one design team to begin the master plan of the conceptual design,” says Fugate.

Fugate says private donations will help fund the proposed master plan, which will then allow officials to get a better understanding of possibilities, limitations, and cost.

The development authority will begin interviewing design teams in late October.