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POSTED  January 6, 2016

 Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, City Council members and dozens of Cumberland Avenue merchants, stakeholders and reconstruction project partners cut an orange ribbon to officially dedicate the new and improved western end of Cumberland Avenue this afternoon.
Phase I of the City of Knoxville’s $17 million Cumberland Avenue reconstruction has been completed – on time and within budget.
“We’re creating a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly Cumberland Avenue Corridor, and this first phase has dramatically unclogged traffic congestion between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street,” Mayor Rogero said.
“We’re now into Phase II – burying utility lines, upgrading infrastructure and adding left-turn lanes, medians and streetscape amenities from 22nd to 17th streets. We’re excited by the merchants’ enthusiasm and the $130 million in new private-sector investments throughout the Cumberland Corridor.”
Phase I work on the western end of Cumberland, between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street, focused on improving traffic flow. A dedicated turn lane onto northbound Alcoa Highway and synchronized traffic signalization at Metron Center Way have lessened decades-long issues with congestion.
To be completed in August 2017, the Phase II reconstruction will change the existing four-lane Cumberland between 22nd and 17th streets to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. Cumberland Avenue sidewalks are being widened and landscaped, and utility infrastructure is being relocated and improved.
Mayor Rogero urged people to continue to patronize their favorite Cumberland Avenue restaurants and shops.
“Cumberland has been open for business since this project started in April, and that’s not about to change now,” she said.
“Come to Cumberland Avenue. Explore what’s new, and experience firsthand the energy and optimism. See for yourself how easy it is to get to your favorite stores and restaurants.”

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