A series of overnight pavings along a three-block section of Cumberland Avenue, starting at 9 p.m. today (Tuesday, Aug. 2), will establish the roadway at its correct new height while providing better access to the entrances of businesses.
The carefully-sequenced series of pavings – involving the future westbound lane of Cumberland and closures of one-block sections of 19th, 20th and 21st streets north of Cumberland – will take place over three consecutive nights. The paving work is the latest development in the City’s $17 million reconstruction of the seven-block main stretch of Cumberland Avenue.
The first closure begins tonight. From 9 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, North 21st Street between Cumberland and White avenues will be closed while Southern Constructors Inc. crews pave the westbound lane of Cumberland from 21st Street east toward 22nd Street.
The side streets are being connected with Cumberland at its new elevation, so about 30 feet of North 21st Street also will be paved as the new connection is made.
North 21st Street will be closed overnight during the paving; motorists may use either 20th or 22nd streets as alternative routes. Cumberland Avenue will remain open to both westbound and eastbound traffic.
Next, the paving work will cascade eastward and follow the same pattern. From 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, until 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, North 20th Street will be closed between Cumberland and White avenues. Crews will pave the westbound lane of Cumberland from North 20th toward 21st Street.
A short section of North 20th will be paved as well. While North 20th is closed overnight, motorists may use 19th or 21st streets as alternative routes. Just like on Tuesday night, Cumberland will remain open to both westbound and eastbound traffic.
Finally, from 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, until 6 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, North 19th Street will be closed between Cumberland and White avenues. The westbound lane of Cumberland will be paved from 19th Street toward 20th Street. Cumberland will remain open, and 20th and 18th streets are alternate routes.
“This paving is a small step in the overall project, but the Cumberland Corridor merchants, restaurants and their customers will definitely find it interesting,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Deputy Director of Redevelopment who’s managing the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project. “While work will be continuing in these blocks, this will give people a better glimpse of what the new-and-improved Cumberland will look like.
“First of all, the new asphalt is replacing a gravel lane, so the entrances to businesses are being improved.
“Second, on the north side of Cumberland between 19th and 22nd streets, you’ll be able to more easily visualize the finished streetscape – the new westbound traffic lane, the wide new decorative sidewalk, and the silva cells, where new trees will be planted next year.”
The complete project will be finished in about a year. The City’s investment in infrastructure and streetscape upgrades will create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly and better-functioning Cumberland Avenue Corridor.
Utilities are being upgraded from Alcoa Highway to 17th Street. The existing four-lane Cumberland between 22nd and 17th streets is being reconfigured to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections.
An earlier phase of work on the western end of Cumberland focused on improving traffic flow between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 22nd Street; that phase finished at the end of 2015, on time and under budget.
More information is available at www.CumberlandConnect.com, on the Cumberland Connect Facebook page, facebook.com/CumberlandConnect, and on the Cumberland Connect phone app. Or text VFL to 313131 to get text messages on the most current traffic updates.