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POSTED  June 24, 2015 9:56 a.m.

Starting Friday morning, all lanes of Cumberland Avenue, in both directions, will be closed between 22nd Street and the ramps east of Alcoa Highway. Crews will be continuing to install a new 42-inch stormwater line 12 feet below Cumberland Avenue and rebuilding the at-grade railroad crossing in that section of Cumberland.


            The closure of the two-block section of Cumberland Avenue will start at 10 a.m. Friday, June 26, and will continue through noon Monday, June 29.


            The work will close University Commons Way at Cumberland Avenue. Shoppers or diners wishing to access the University Commons retail complex may do so via Joe Johnson Drive and Neyland Drive.


The road closure is part of the City of Knoxville’s $17 million 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 will be widened and landscaped, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.


Construction is proceeding in 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 complete closure that starts Friday is part of a summer construction phase in which all eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue already are closed between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard. One westbound lane currently is open.


After this weekend’s full closure for the stormwater line installation and railroad crossing rebuild, one westbound lane on Cumberland Avenue will reopen at noon Monday.

The closure of the eastbound lanes and the stormwater line installation is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1. At that point, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction – eastbound and westbound – through the end of the year as Phase I work is completed.


Businesses and other destinations in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor remain accessible, and the best way to reach them is to follow the City’s recommended detour routes:


  • From the south, take 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 via 17th Street.


  • To most quickly access Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, take 17th Street to Clinch Avenue.



In addition, Cumberland Avenue Corridor visitors can ride KAT buses for free. Routes 10, 11 and 17 are all free from Gay Street to Cumberland, and bus riders can board along Cumberland Avenue fare-free.


Also, 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.


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