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POSTED June 4, 2015

For six weeks beginning Tuesday, June 9, all eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard will be closed – the next step in a $17 million reconstruction.


During this period, one westbound lane of traffic will remain open (except for one complete weekend closure to rebuild the railroad crossing). There will be no westbound left turns onto Cumberland from West Volunteer Boulevard.


Crews will be installing a new 42-inch storm sewer pipe approximately 12 feet below the roadway, which will trigger the lane closures.


The Phase I reconstruction of the section of Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway to West Volunteer Boulevard will continue through late fall 2015, though two-way traffic will resume before the University of Tennessee resumes classes in August. (Throughout most of Phase I, contractors are keeping one lane open in each direction.)


Throughout the project, road closures and construction updates will be available on, along with the Cumberland Connection blog ( and a Facebook page at


“We know with this next phase closing two-way traffic, through mid-summer, it will take a little additional time for eastbound motorists to navigate the Cumberland Avenue Corridor,” said Anne Wallace, Project Manager for the City of Knoxville’s Office of Redevelopment.


Motorists wishing to access Cumberland Avenue from the south can do so by taking Neyland Drive to Joe Johnson Drive to Volunteer Boulevard. Those wishing to reach Cumberland Avenue from the north or coming off Interstate 40/75 can do so by taking 17th Street onto Cumberland or Fort Sanders side streets.


Meanwhile, motorists who aren’t shopping or dining or trying to reach a Cumberland Avenue business can avoid the construction zone altogether by taking either Neyland Drive or 17th Street to or from I-40/75.


“Merchants remain accessible, so we encourage shoppers and diners to please continue to patronize them,” Wallace said. “In fact, the Free Fare KAT bus is a great way to visit. Routes 10, 11 and 17 are all free from Gay Street to Cumberland.


“Once this reconstruction is completed, the result will be a Cumberland Avenue Corridor that looks better and works better for everybody.”


Free public parking on weekends and after 6 p.m. weekdays is available in the Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center lot at 19th Street and White Avenue and in the UT Federal Credit Union lot at 22nd Street and White Avenue.


Once Phase I work is completed, full traffic access will be restored from 22nd Street west.


Phase II work, moving eastward from 22nd Street to 17th Street, is scheduled to begin by Dec. 1, 2015. The full project is scheduled for completion by Aug. 31, 2017.


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