Utility Work to Reroute Cumberland Avenue Commuters

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Utility Work to Reroute Cumberland Avenue Commuters

Posted: 07/22/2014
July 22, 2014 - Starting Wednesday, July 23, the next phase of a major University of Tennessee utility upgrade will close two lanes of Cumberland Avenue between James Agee Street and 11th Street.

The closure will remain in place until August 8.

The project's completion date is Jan. 8. From August until then, motorists can anticipate intermittent lane closures on Cumberland but no major detours.

Crews will be installing stormwater drains on each side of Cumberland Avenue, while UT steam lines will be installed across the road.

The lane closures will alternate. Depending on where the crews are working, eastbound commuters will either remain in place or shift to the two westbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue. Westbound commuters will be detoured to 11th Street, then to Clinch Avenue and then to 16th Street.

The City's Civil Engineering Division recommends that detoured westbound motorists take a different route, since the detour route will squeeze traffic from a normal two lanes to a single lane.

UT's steam line, which crosses Cumberland Avenue, is being upgraded. 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 tied to UT eliminating coal use completely by transitioning to natural gas, which will lead to decreased emissions of pollutants, less-costly fuel oil delivery and a better water treatment system.