If you've driven or walked Cumberland Avenue in the last couple of days, you probably witnessed the installation of the new raised medians - something of a milestone in the City’s $17 million reconstruction of the corridor.
The raised median being built will be an important new safety feature – creating an “island” that will help pedestrians crossing the street, while also limiting left turns by motorists to designated intersections.
Mid-block left turns have been prevented so far by temporary barriers. The new permanent medians will be between 3 feet and 13 feet wide, depending on turn lanes and Knoxville Area Transit bus infrastructure. Even though the number of traffic lanes on Cumberland has been reduced, the design is expected to reduce fender benders and improve traffic flow by eliminating blockages created by vehicles turning left across incoming traffic in the middle of the block.
The framing of the curbs was done Wednesday, and concrete was poured today. The work is expected to conclude Friday, except for filling in planter soils in the wider sections of the median, where landscaping will be added. The soils will be added by next week.