The Island is a mix-use development constructed on an island in the middle of the Little Pigeon River in of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The first phase of The Island opened in June 2013 with multiple restaurants, stores, and attractions, including a 200-foot observation wheel. The second and third phases, completed in 2014, included a dancing water feature, additional retail shops, a Margaritaville Hotel and Restaurant, and an Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine distillery. The final phase, to be completed in early 2015, will add a Paula Deen restaurant.
The project presented many challenges to construction due to its location on an island. The property, which was home to a formerly unfinished multi-use development, was sold to a new ownership group in 2012. The sale resulted in a new site plan that required extensive demolition and additional grading to the island and surrounding property. As part of the original development, the entire perimeter of the island was elevated using concrete columns and hollow-core panels to raise the buildings above the river and increase usable space. Prior to the redevelopment, Charles Blalock and Sons demolished two multi-story buildings and constructed two new bridges to improve access to the site, preserving most of the elevated sections of the island for retail and parking areas. Even with improved access, site congestion and traffic were major issues as numerous contractors worked to complete the initial phase in limited space during the peak of tourist season. During the final week of construction, Blalock Ready Mix and Charles Blalock and Sons operated nearly around the clock to supply concrete and complete site work for the project
The centerpiece of The Island is a 200-foot tall observation wheel overlooking Pigeon Forge. Foundation construction and steel erection for the wheel was performed by Charles Blalock and Sons, with Blalock Ready Mix providing concrete. Additional grading, site utilities, and parking lot/access road construction were also provided by Charles Blalock and Sons.
Since its original ground-breaking, The Island required over 25,000 yards of concrete. Blalock Ready Mix supplied all of the structural concrete for caissons, foundations, and building slabs. They also supplied precast Redi-Rock blocks for several segmental retaining walls. Extensive decorative concrete for sidewalks and building slabs was all placed by Trowel Trades and Charles Blalock and Sons. Decorative placements included colored concrete with tinted sealers, stamped concrete, and a custom-designed exposed aggregate mix utilizing 1.5” natural stone. In 2014, the Tennessee Concrete Association recognized the project as the Best Commercial Concrete Finishing Project for 2014 in Tennessee.
Gen. Contractors: Wasserman, C. Laney & Sons, Joseph Construction, Johnson & Galyon
General Civil Contractor: Charles Blalock and Sons
Concrete Contractor: Charles Blalock and Sons, Trowel Trades
Concrete Producer: Blalock Ready Mix