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POSTED  December 31, 2015

By 5 p.m. today, a temporarily closed two-block section of Cumberland Avenue between 17th and 19th streets will reopen.


Since Tuesday, crews have been installing an underground electrical line beneath the four lanes of Cumberland Avenue. The line is 12 feet below the road, and burying the line allows for the removal of overhead power lines along Cumberland Avenue.


The project had been scheduled to be completed by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. But the earlier-than-anticipated street reopening means that it will be easier for New Year’s Eve patrons of Cumberland Avenue restaurants to access parking.


“Cumberland Avenue has remained open for business from Day 1, since the two-year Cumberland reconstruction project started back in April,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Deputy Director of Redevelopment.


“What better way to ring in the new year than by patronizing a favorite Cumberland restaurant tonight? Or enjoy the game-day festivities and special menu items on New Year’s Day, with the Vols playing in the Outback Bowl. Go Big Orange!”


Crews will be paving the section of Cumberland Avenue between 17th and 19th streets next Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 4-5, but traffic will be temporarily shifted with no long-term lane closures.


The relocation and upgrade of electric infrastructure is part of the City’s overall $17 million reconstruction of the corridor.


Phase I work on the western end of Cumberland, between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street, is completed – on time and under budget. Improving traffic flow was a key objective of the Phase I work. Synchronized traffic flow at Metron Center Way and a dedicated turn lane onto northbound Alcoa Highway have lessened decades-long issues with congestion.


Phase II work is underway in the section of Cumberland Avenue between 22nd and 17th streets. Scheduled to be completed in August 2017, the reconstruction will change the existing four-lane street on the eastern end of the corridor to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections between 22nd Street and 17th Street.


In both the Phase I and Phase II work, Cumberland Avenue sidewalks are being widened, and utility infrastructure relocated and upgraded, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.


Meanwhile, motorists next week should anticipate new street closures associated with the Phase II work:


  • From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 3, two lanes in the 1500 block of Cumberland Avenue – between Volunteer Boulevard and Philip Fulmer Way – will be closed while KUB installs new sewer system infrastructure. One eastbound and one westbound lane will remain open.


  • From 6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 4, until 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, a section of South 18th Street between Cumberland and the alley north of Lake Avenue will be closed to allow crews to install an electrical duct bank.


  • From Monday, Jan. 4, through Wednesday, Jan. 6, sections of North 18th and 19th streets, from Cumberland to the alley, will be closed to accommodate work upgrading the sewer system.

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