City Selects Engineering Team for Cumberland Ave. Project

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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City Selects Engineering Team for Cumberland Ave. Project

Posted: 09/24/2008
The City of Knoxville has selected an engineering team led by Vaughn & Melton (Tennessee) Inc. to design its ambitious Cumberland Avenue Streetscapes project.

City Council unanimously approved the $1.4 million contract during its meeting Tuesday evening.

The work will include planning everything necessary to create a pedestrian-friendly Cumberland Avenue that would also efficiently move vehicular traffic into downtown, West Knoxville, the Fort Sanders Neighborhood and the University of Tennessee.

That involves relocating utilities currently on Cumberland, redesigning the avenue from four lanes to a three-lane street including a turn lane; designing the traffic signal timing to facilitate good traffic flow; drainage and environmental work and creating the elements needed to make Cumberland a more attractive street. 
"After a comprehensive selection process, we are very pleased to be working with such a well-qualified team," said Anne Wallace, Project Manager.

The contract is part of the city's larger Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project. That project provides the guidelines for the city's effort to work with property and business owners, UT and the hospitals in Fort Sanders to transform Cumberland Avenue into a more appealing street featuring a strong mix of retail, residential and business establishments.

As part of the selection process, all submitting teams had to be pre-approved by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) because the project is being partially funded through TDOT. Vaughn & Melton was selected from among seven engineering and landscape architecture teams that responded to the city's request for proposals for the design work.

Wallace said that Vaughn & Melton's team included firms specializing in landscape architecture, traffic signal systems and environmental work in addition to engineering design. 
"The planning for this project has been based on the public input the city has received to date, and we will continue to seek public participation as we start the detail design work," she said. "The Vaughn & Melton team is very good at taking ideas and turning them into realities and we look forward to working with them." 
She said the firm will begin work in October and the effort should take about 18 months to complete.

Construction is not expected to begin until the spring of 2010.