CITY’S CUMBERLAND AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION, UT STEAM LINE UPGRADE TO CLOSE SECTIONS OF STREETS IN COMING WEEKS
POSTED June 6, 2016
This week, storm drains will be installed across 17th Street by a City contractor, prompting four overnight closures, while a major University of Tennessee upgrade to its steam line infrastructure will reduce lanes on a section of Cumberland Avenue.
Starting at 10 p.m. today (Monday, June 6), 17th Street will be closed overnight between Cumberland and White avenues. The street will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday, June 7. The closures will be repeated each night through Thursday night, June 9, with the work completed and 17th Street reopening on Friday morning, June 10.
Southbound motorists on 17th Street will be detoured onto White Avenue to 16th Street to connect with Cumberland Avenue. Motorists wishing to access northbound 17th Street from Cumberland will be detoured onto 16th Street, then onto Clinch Avenue.
The storm drain installation is part of the City of Knoxville’s $17 million Cumberland Avenue reconstruction, to be completed by August 2017.
The 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. An earlier phase of work on the western end of Cumberland focused on improving traffic flow between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street; that phase finished at the end of 2015, on time and under budget.
Motorists over the next 5½ weeks should anticipate Southern Constructors Inc. crews working on the upgrade to UT’s steam line, which will be installed across Cumberland Avenue. The installation will reduce the number of east-west traffic lanes from four to two between James Agee and 17th streets through Wednesday, July 13. During this time, one eastbound and one westbound lane will remain open.
The university's steam plant provides heating and hot water for more than 150 buildings using about 11 miles of underground steam pipes. The steam line project is a continuation of plant upgrades for UT eliminating the use of coal by transitioning to natural gas, which will lead to decreased emissions of pollutants and more efficient fuel delivery.
Also as part of the steam line upgrade, four metered parking spaces on the east side of 16th Street, between Cumberland and White avenues, will be unavailable through Aug. 15. Southern Constructors will be using the spaces for storage of pipe and other materials.
Alley south of Clinch Avenue
Knoxville Utilities Board crews, as well as electric contract crews, will be performing electric upgrade work requiring a month-long closure of an east-west alley south of Clinch Avenue, between 17th and 18th streets, starting Tuesday, June 7, and scheduled to end Friday, July 1. Crews will be working overnight 6 p.m.-6 a.m., with some daytime work necessary to complete the project. This work is to support current customers as well as new development in the area.