Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 5th Update

City of Knoxville Update - CONSTRUCTION STARTS APRIL 6

Just a reminder: Monday morning, April 6, motorists should anticipate two lanes closed on Cumberland Avenue between West Volunteer Boulevard and 21st Street, as utility work kicks off a 2-year reconstruction of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor.

There was a big turnout Thursday evening at a public meeting where traffic plans and the project's timeline and objectives were discussed.

Lots of media coverage as well.

Here's some of the coverage:
WATE
WBIR
WVLT

For more details, including detour maps, please visit the City of Knoxville's website:
www.cityofknoxville.org or www.cumberlandconnect.com

Happy Easter and have a great start to the week!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

March 26th Update

City of Knoxville - Cumberland Avenue Streetscape Update and Press Release 


CUMBERLAND AVENUE CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE
TOPIC OF APRIL 2 PUBLIC MEETING
           
With construction of the City of Knoxville's Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project getting underway, utility-related construction will begin on April 6. A public meeting next week will provide an overview of the entire Cumberland Avenue Corridor construction schedule during the next two years.

The public meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, at the University of Tennessee Visitors Center, 2712 Neyland Drive. City staff will be there, along with representatives from the contractors, KUB and engineering consultants Vaughn & Melton, to discuss the construction timeline and traffic control plans.

The Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project is a City of Knoxville initiative to redesign Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway east to 17th street, changing the existing four-lane street to a three-lane cross section with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. Sidewalks will be widened and landscaped to create a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Throughout the project, road closures and construction updates will be available on a new website, CumberlandConnect.com, along with the Cumberland Connection blog (cumberlandconnections.blogspot.com/) and a Facebook page at facebook.com/CumberlandConnect.

Construction will proceed in two phases, with Phase I to be completed by the end of 2015 and Phase II scheduled for completion in August 2017. See the detailed timeline for Phase I below.

One lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained during construction, with the exception of a single weekend closure at the railroad crossing and a six-week period when eastbound traffic will be blocked between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard. Turns onto side streets will be blocked on a rolling basis, and mid-block left turns will not be possible on blocks under construction. To avoid delays, drivers are encouraged to use alternative routes.

“We know this construction will be disruptive to traffic and local businesses and residents,” said Anne Wallace, Project Manager for the City of Knoxville’s Office of Redevelopment. “We promise to work diligently throughout the process to provide updated information, answer questions and mitigate the effects as much as possible. The result will be a Cumberland Avenue Corridor that looks better and works better for everybody.”

Signed detours will direct through traffic around the corridor during construction. Specific detours for local traffic will change as construction moves from west to east, but in general:

n  For access to the UT campus and other areas south of Cumberland Avenue, the best route will be to take Neyland Drive to Joe Johnson Drive and proceed east from there;
n  For access to the Fort Sanders neighborhood, including Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, the best route will be Alcoa Highway north to I-40 and the 17th Street exit.

PHASE I CONSTRUCTION TIMELINE

n  April 6 - June 6, 2015: KUB utility work in westbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue and portions of side streets between West Volunteer Boulevard and 22nd Street. Lane closures will run from West Volunteer Boulevard to 21st Street to allow for a one-block tapering of traffic. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, shifted into the existing eastbound lanes.

June 8, 2015: Construction begins on section of Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway to West Volunteer Boulevard. This includes the installation of a new 42-inch storm sewer pipe, which will require a six-week closure of eastbound lanes from University Commons to West Volunteer Boulevard. That closure will begin no earlier than June 8, with work completed no later than July 31. KUB will be moving to this location for utility upgrades while the City has this area closed. Utility work will continue heading eastward to 17th Street, with street, sidewalk and median construction following behind it for the remainder of the project.

During this period, one westbound lane of traffic will be maintained (except for one complete weekend closure to rebuild the railroad crossing), but there will be no left turns onto Cumberland from West Volunteer Boulevard.

n  August-December 2015: Street and sidewalk construction continue between Alcoa Highway and 22nd Street, starting with the westbound lanes and then shifting to the eastbound lanes. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction, but the lanes will shift as needed to accommodate construction.

Once Phase I work is complete, full traffic access will be restored from 22nd Street west. Phase II work, moving eastward from 22nd Street to 17th Street, is scheduled to begin by Dec. 1, 2015. The full project is scheduled for completion by Aug. 31, 2017.


Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) - REGULAR MEETING

Date: Wednesday, April 1
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm 
Location: Copper Cellar, 1807 Cumberland Avenue*

*Please note this is a new location for the meeting!

What: The merchants and other interested stakeholders meet to discuss items of interest or concern and get updates on the City's Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project. 

Parking: Available parking is located at Copper Cellar. 

Traffic Control Permit Request (The Standard at White Ave and 17th Streets)
When: Monday, March 30 through Friday, May 1 from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily
What: Closure of northbound lanes on 18th Street for crane construction. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

February 27th Update

City of Knoxville Update

The city of Knoxville has re-submitted a request for bids for the Cumberland Avenue corridor project. The announcement was published in the Knoxville News Sentinel on Sunday, February 15 and the Enlightener on Wednesday, February 18. The bids are due into the city's Purchasing Office by 11:00 AM on Tuesday, March 17th. 

For more information, check out this News Sentinel article, here

Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) - REGULAR MEETING

Date: Wednesday, March 4
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm 

Location: Goal Post Tavern, 1824 Cumberland Avenue 

What: The merchants and other interested stakeholders meet to discuss items of interest or concern and get updates on the City's Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project. 

Parking: Available parking is located at Graphic Creations, 1809 Lake Avenue. 

Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) - SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

What: A discussion of the traffic control plans and commercial delivery plans during construction of Phase I and Phase II of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor Plan. 

Date: Thursday, March 12
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Location: UT Federal Credit Union, 2100 White Ave. (Training Room)

Parking: Since this meeting will be during the Credit Union’s regular business hours, we kindly ask that you plan to utilize public parking or walk over from your business. 

Parking is available at the ETCH Central Parking garage located at 2100 Clinch Avenue and UTFCU is located across the street from the garage at 2100 White Avenue. Central Parking System, 2100 Clinch Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37916 , (865) 525-8438. General Parking Information HOURLY RATES 1st Hour: < $5.00.

There is also some on street parking on White Avenue, but it is first come first serve. 

For questions about the meeting, please contact Anne Wallace at awallace@cityofknoxville.org 



Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26th Update

Traffic Control Permit Request (The Standard at White Ave and 17th Streets)

When: Tuesday, January 27 through Monday, February 16th (phase I) from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM daily

What: Closure of southbound lanes on 17th Street and sidewalks on the west side of the street for underground utility work including tying into the sanitary sewer system. For questions about this work, contact Todd Jones at Blount Excavating at mtjones@blountexcavating.com.  





Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) Meeting 

Date: Wednesday, February 4

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm 

Location: Goal Post Tavern, 1824 Cumberland Avenue 

What: The merchants and other interested stakeholders meet to discuss items of interest or concern and get updates on the City's Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project. 

Parking: Available parking is located at Graphic Creations, 1809 Lake Avenue. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

January 2nd Update

City of Knoxville Update
Lot Opens for Evening and Weekend Public Parking in Fort Sanders
Press Release December 29, 2014 
Fort Sanders Parking Lot signSome good news for anyone looking for evening or weekend parking in Fort Sanders: Under an agreement with the City of Knoxville, a parking lot owned by Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center is now open for free public parking after 6 p.m. and all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

The lot, at the corner of 19th Street and White Avenue, has 80 spaces. The hospital agreed to make it available for public parking to aid the City's ongoing redesign and redevelopment of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor. City Council approved the agreement last month, at no cost to the City.

"We know that public parking is a chronic need in Fort Sanders, for visitors and merchants alike," said Bob Whetsel, the City's Director of Redevelopment. "Thanks to this agreement with Covenant Health, it will be easier at least in the evenings and on weekends."

The lot will not be free during special events, including home football games. 

KUB Update

Contact KUB at 524-2911 if you have questions about this or any other KUB construction activities.

White Avenue & Twentieth Street Lane Closures [January 3] – KUB will reduce a short section of White Avenue to one lane (between Twentieth Street and Twenty-First Street) and reduce Twentieth Street to one alternating lane of traffic (between White Avenue and Clinch Avenue) on Saturday, January 3, from 4 a.m. - 12 p.m., as work is performed on the water distribution system in the area. The northbound lane of Twentieth Street will be closed, and the southbound lane will be used to alternate traffic.

Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) Meeting

Date: Wednesday, January 7th

Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Location: Goal Post Tavern, 1824 Cumberland Avenue

What: The merchants and other interested stakeholders meet to discuss items of interest or concern and get updates on the City's Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project.

Parking: Available parking is located at Graphic Creations, 1809 Lake Avenue. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 23rd Update

KUB Update

Contact KUB at 524-2911 if you have questions about this or any other KUB construction activities.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY

December 23, 2014

Re:        Traffic Advisory – Lane Closure for Utility Maintenance [All closures and work are weather permitting]

S. Twenty First Street Road Closure [December 29] – KUB will close a short section of South Twenty First Street between Lake Avenue and Cumberland Avenue daily, Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., starting on Monday, December 29, until Friday, January 9, as work is completed on the natural gas distribution system in the area. Detour routes include Volunteer Boulevard, Twenty Second Street, and Mountcastle Street.

Some listed closures may extend beyond the scheduled times depending on the conditions encountered during excavation and construction. Appropriate traffic control measures will be in place at each location to assist motorists traveling in these areas. Due to the ongoing presence of workers and equipment, motorists are advised to use extreme caution and expect temporary delays in these areas. More information on other lane and road closures and KUB construction projects can be found at www.kub.org.  


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 16th Update

City of Knoxville Cumberland Avenue Corridor Update

Cumberland Avenue Construction to be Rebid; City Remains '100 Percent Committed' to Corridor Project

City of Knoxville officials will be rebidding the contract for construction of the comprehensive Cumberland Avenue street redesign project, which will push the start of construction back from early 2015 to summer 2015.

Only one company had submitted a bid to perform the work, and that bid came in higher than budgeted. City consultants had estimated the construction work at about $11 million, and the sole bid was for more than $25 million. So the project will go out for rebid early next year after several elements of the bid package have been reworked.

City officials remain committed to doing the major traffic-flow redesign and utility upgrade along Cumberland Avenue, even though it appears that the project will wind up being costlier than first anticipated. Additional funding sources will be identified during the rebid process as well.

"The Cumberland Avenue Corridor project is a very complicated urban road project, and we knew it would present a number of challenges," said Bob Whetsel, the City's Director of Redevelopment.

"But we are 100 percent committed to this project, which has already helped spur more than $200 million in investment by private redevelopers. We've pledged to partner with residents and merchants in the Corridor by doing our part and modernizing the infrastructure, and we intend to follow through with what's really a once-in-a-century major overhaul."

The Cumberland Avenue project still will be done in two phases.

Phase I of the Cumberland Avenue project will ease traffic clogs on the western end of the corridor, the stretch of Cumberland Avenue between 22nd Street and Alcoa Highway.

Phase I improvements - especially the smoother-flowing intersections at Volunteer Boulevard and at Alcoa Highway - will give motorists more options for avoiding the Phase II construction work, said Project Manager Anne Wallace with the City's Office of Redevelopment.

Phase II calls for a redesign of Cumberland Avenue from 22nd Street to 16th Street. Both phases of work include new underground utilities, new signals, new sidewalks, the addition of turn lanes and new medians, plus landscaping, benches and pedestrian-scaled lighting.

Work will include putting in new underground stormwater, water, sewer and gas lines to replace antiquated lines and to support new commercial and residential developments in the area. The project also will add and widen sidewalks, resurface the road and purchase new, higher-performing traffic signals.

"We realize there will be inconveniences, and business owners will want the upgrades to be done as quickly as possible," Whetsel said. "We want the same thing. But the fact is, much of the utility infrastructure in this area predates World War II. Just last month, a stormwater pipe beneath Cumberland collapsed. It is time for these critical improvements to be made.

"At the same time, we recognize the need to increase utility capacity to support the hundreds of new apartment units and retail outlets that are infusing new energy into the Cumberland Avenue Corridor.

"We'll be creative and responsive in working with the University of Tennessee, merchants and stakeholders once work gets under way."