Work to improve Cumberland Avenue intersections to begin Monday, July 29

Work will begin Monday, July 29, on the Cumberland Avenue Intersection Improvements Project that will replace traffic signals and curb cuts, update street lighting and also create new crosswalks.

The nearly $1.4 million project is funded as part of a contract between the City and the University of Tennessee, with UT funding half the cost. The project is expected to be completed in winter 2020.

“It is always exciting when the University of Tennessee and the City of Knoxville are able to jointly collaborate on a project that benefits the entire community, which improves the aesthetics of Cumberland Avenue and also greatly enhances safety in this area,” said Jeff Maples, UT Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

The project will replace traffic signals and curb cuts at the following intersections along Cumberland Avenue: Phillip Fulmer Way, Circle Drive and 13th and 11th streets.

Additionally, new decorative crosswalks and new street lights will be installed along Cumberland Avenue between 16th and 11th streets.

The crosswalks and other improvements in the project will match the aesthetics of the completed Cumberland Avenue Streetscape Project. The traffic signals will be hung on mast arms rather than span wires, which means fewer overhead wires and much improved aesthetics. Mast arms are also less vulnerable to wind and weather.

Drivers are encouraged to be aware of occasional lane closures on Cumberland Avenue between 16th and 11th streets during the construction project. Signs will be posted in advance of any lane closures.

This latest project is part of ongoing efforts to better connect UT and downtown Knoxville along the Cumberland Avenue corridor.

A parking agreement between UT and the City that began in 2018 allows public parking in UT’s Terrace Avenue Garage in the evenings and on weekends on all levels of the garage, which has 1,000 parking spots. The public parking helps fill a growing parking need in the Cumberland Avenue area for merchants and the general public.

Knoxville Area Transit has served UT since the free trolley system began in the late 1980s. UT subsidizes a portion of the trolley services.

The contractor for the intersection improvements project is Southern Constructors Inc.

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