‘MAJOR MILESTONE’ NEW PAVEMENT ON CUMBERLAND
POSTED November 5, 2015 8:00 p.m.
CUMBERLAND AVENUE LANES TO REOPEN LATER THIS WEEK
Starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, Southern Constructors and Rogers Group will begin the final paving for Phase I of the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project.
The paving, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Friday, Nov. 13, will require temporary lane closures and traffic shifts while workers mill and overlay asphalt. One lane will be open in each direction.
But the good news is that, beginning Friday night, five lanes of Cumberland Avenue between 22nd Street and the southbound Alcoa Highway ramps will be open.
For the first time since the project launched last April, there will be two eastbound and two westbound lanes open on the western end of Cumberland Avenue. There also will be a center turn lane, and the reconstruction project has created a dedicated lane for westbound motorists wishing to access northbound Alcoa Highway – improvements aimed at reducing traffic backups.
“This is a real turning point in the project,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Deputy Redevelopment Director and the project manager for the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction.
“The lane closures have been inconvenient for the businesses and for motorists, and we’ve appreciated everyone’s patience. We’ve worked with our partners to communicate the steps in the process and to make accommodations when possible, and the project has remained on schedule.”
The City of Knoxville’s reconstruction of a nine-block stretch of Cumberland Avenue is a $17 million investment that will modernize aging utility infrastructure, improve traffic flow and improve the aesthetics of the corridor.
As the Phase I work nears completion in the coming weeks, the project will move into Phase II – the reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street, scheduled for completion in August 2017.
Phase II calls for changing the existing four-lane street to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections.
All along Cumberland Avenue, sidewalks will be widened and landscaped, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.
Meanwhile, anticipate two other closures in the Cumberland Avenue corridor:
Through Wednesday evening, workers are continuing with a sewer main installation near Cumberland Avenue and North 21st Street. The installation has closed the northbound lane of 21st Street between Cumberland and White Avenue.
From 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, through 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, White Avenue will be closed between 20th and 21st streets. Johnson & Galyon Construction will be dismantling one of the two tower cranes used in the construction of a new East Tennessee Children’s Hospital building.