KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A two-year City of Knoxville project to reconstruct the Cumberland Avenue Corridor starts on Monday.
Utility work in the westbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue and portions of side streets between West Volunteer Boulevard and 22nd Street.
Motorists should anticipate lanes closed from West Volunteer Boulevard to 21st Street to allow for a one-block tapering off traffic.
One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, shifted into the existing eastbound lanes.
The Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project is a City of Knoxville initiative to redesign Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway east to 17th Street, changing the existing four-lane street to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections.
Sidewalks are expected to be widened and landscaped and utilities will be buried, to create a pedestrian-friendly corridor.
Construction is broken up into two phases, with Phase I (from Alcoa Highway to 22nd Street) to be completed by the end of 2015, and Phase II (from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street) scheduled for completion in August 2017.
The Knoxville City Council on March 31 authorized the execution of contracts for the construction and construction engineering inspection work on Cumberland Avenue totaling about $18 million.
The City of Knoxville says most of the project is federally funded, with city funding totaling about $3.6 million for construction. The pledge to complete the infrastructure improvements have helped leverage major redevelopment – $200 million in private investments – along the Cumberland Avenue Corridor.
A public meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday night at the University of Tennessee Visitors Center on Neyland Drive.
City staff will be available to answer questions, along with representatives from the contractors, Knoxville Utilities Board and engineering consultants with Vaughn & Melton.
To stay up-to-date with road closures and construction updates through out the project by visiting Cumberland Connect online or Facebook, both launched by Vaughn & Melton. The engineering consultants also created a mobile application that will send updates, if requested.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTES: Depending on where you are traveling, consider Neyland Drive as an alternative route; take Interstate 40 to 17th Street; use Interstate 40 to get to Henley Street; or Jones White Parkway.