UT's Cumberland Avenue Work Extended

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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UT's Cumberland Avenue Work Extended

Posted: 07/31/2014
July 31, 2014 - A major University of Tennessee utility upgrade will close two lanes of Cumberland Avenue between James Agee Street and 11th Street in August.

A UT contractor had been granted a traffic-control permit to reroute Cumberland Avenue commuters from July 23 through Aug. 8. But for now, just one westbound lane of Cumberland Avenue is closed, and the second lane won't close until Aug. 8 or later, according to Southern Constructors Inc.

The traffic-control permit allowing two lanes to be closed has been extended until Aug. 25.

Crews are installing stormwater drains on each side of Cumberland Avenue, and UT steam lines will be installed.

As work continues, 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. Once the second lane is closed, westbound commuters will be detoured to 11th Street, then to Clinch Avenue and then to 16th Street.

The precise dates for the alternating lane closures will be determined by the pace of the infrastructure work.

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 fall semester starts Aug. 20.

Additional work on the steam line project, with less impact on traffic flow, is expected to continue into early January.

UT's steam line, which crosses Cumberland Avenue, is being upgraded. The project is tied to UT eliminating coal use completely by transitioning to natural gas, which will lead to decreased emissions of pollutants. UT's steam plant provides heating and hot water for more than 150 buildings using about 11 miles of underground steam pipes.