Friday, August 21, 2015

August 21st Update


CUMBERLAND AVENUE MERCHANTS TO HOST FIRST-EVER
BRICK BY BRICK PRE-GAME BLOCK PARTY ON THE STRIP

                If your orange blood is boiling and you just can’t wait for the Vols’ first home football game on Sept. 12, the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association has a cure – a first-ever pre-game closed-street block party before the Saturday, Sept. 5 season opener in Nashville.

                In fact, merchants are anticipating a big weekend of back-to-back fun on Cumberland Avenue on Sept. 5-6. On Sunday, Sept. 6, the next day after the restart of University of Tennessee football, hit the Strip for the final Boomsday, the nation’s largest Labor Day Weekend fireworks show. Cumberland Avenue is a perfect spot to eat and start your Boomsday experience, merchants say.

                A section of Cumberland Avenue will be closed between 18th Street and North 19th Street for the Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip block party from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5.

                Imagine 300 feet of booths, where the most diehard head-to-toe orange-and-white-clad UT fans can graze the food vendors, compete in games, get souvenir giveaways, purchase merchandise and take in the music provided by Merle 96.7 FM.

                The event is alcohol-free and family-friendly.

                After the pre-game festivities, UT fans are encouraged to gravitate toward their favorite Cumberland Avenue Corridor restaurants. Many merchants along the Strip are offering special menus, big-screen viewings and promotions in conjunction with the UT-Bowling Green game in Nashville. Kickoff is 4 p.m.

                “We welcome Big Orange fans back to the Strip with a fun, family-friendly pre-game block party,” said Copper Cellar General Manager Jonah Riggs, one of the event organizers. “There will be a lot of fun options – games, food, live music, unique merchandise for sale, and giveaways of souvenirs and collectibles to fans.

“There certainly will be a lot of Vol enthusiasm. We hope our diehard fans will have a great time, then stay and watch the game at their favorite Cumberland Avenue restaurants.”

                The City of Knoxville – which is reconstructing a nine-block stretch of Cumberland Avenue – is offering logistical support to the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association for the pre-game event.

The City’s $17 million investment in the street makeover will modernize aging utility infrastructure and improve traffic flow by 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

                “We know the lane closures during the reconstruction present challenges, but the popular and unique businesses in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor have been and will be accessible,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Cumberland Avenue project manager. “We hope visitors to the Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip event will realize that and continue to patronize these businesses.

“This block party also is a fun opportunity for people who love Cumberland to take note of what it looks like now, and compare that to the completed project in 2017.”

                Helen Morton with University Liquors is one the stakeholders who’s eagerly anticipating Brick by Brick Pre-Game on the Strip. Earlier this week, she was part of a CAMA crew that spruced up Cumberland Avenue – tying up more than 100 huge orange and white bows to celebrate the return of Vol football.

                “This block party is historic, and it’ll be a lot of fun,” Morton said. “It’s the first official street closing on Cumberland. What could be better than family, friends, food and football? I’m thrilled to be able to help out.

“We invite fans to come have a good time, and afterward, to stick around, patronize their favorite businesses, watch the game and enjoy a great meal.”

For more information about the block party or the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project, or to check out this week’s special offers from merchants, visit www.cumberlandconnect.com.



Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31st Update

‘MAJOR MILESTONE’ ON CUMBERLAND AVENUE RECONSTRUCTION:
EASTBOUND LANE TO REOPEN SATURDAY, AUG. 1

                An eastbound lane will open Saturday, Aug. 1, on Cumberland Avenue between Alcoa Highway and 22nd Street – marking a “major milestone” in the City of Knoxville’s $17 million reconstruction of Cumberland.

                The Phase I work – upgrading aging utilities, improving traffic flow and adding Streetscape amenities on the western section of Cumberland Avenue – remains on schedule for completion by the end of 2015.

                “This represents a big step forward for all Cumberland Avenue stakeholders,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s project manager and incoming Deputy Director of the Office of Redevelopment.

“Reopening traffic in both directions, prior to the University of Tennessee starting fall classes and the beginning of UT football, is a major milestone in Phase I. The project remains on schedule.”

Over the past two months, both eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue have been closed in a two-block section between University Commons Way and West Volunteer Boulevard, while one of the two westbound lanes through this section of Cumberland has usually been open.

However, work on two weekends required a complete shutdown of that two-block section of Cumberland. Installation of a 42-inch stormwater line 12 feet below the road and a rebuilding of the at-grade railroad crossing were among the tough tasks that crews had to tackle.

On Saturday, Aug. 1, one lane of traffic will be open in each direction – eastbound and westbound – through the end of the year as Phase I work is completed.

Phase I B - Traffic Control Plan Starts August 1st

Remaining Phase I work includes new sidewalks on the north side of Cumberland; new lighting; improvements to the access to Metron Center Way and a new signal pole; improvements to the Tyson Park entrance; and a resurfacing of Cumberland.

Once the resurfacing is finished and the road restriped, motorists will notice a new dedicated turn lane from westbound Cumberland onto northbound Alcoa Highway, made possible by the reconfiguration of space during the reconstruction. Wallace believes this will help alleviate much of the traffic congestion on Cumberland around Metron Center Way and University Commons Way during peak traffic periods.

The City’s initiative to redesign a nine-block stretch of Cumberland Avenue will modernize aging utility infrastructure and change 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

                Once the Phase I work is completed, the project will move into Phase II – the reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street, scheduled for completion in August 2017.

                In fact, KUB crews have already started doing some of the utility work, with a lane of Cumberland closed between 19th and 22nd streets, in advance of the City’s Phase II reconstruction.

                Next week, starting Monday morning, Aug. 3, a Southern Constructors contract crew will be closing 21st Street at its intersection with Cumberland to install a new sewer main. There will be two-way traffic on Cumberland, and both entrances to the Mellow Mushroom and both entrances to the Starbucks will remain open.

                A new traffic plan that took effect earlier this month – converting four side streets from one-way to two-way traffic between Lake and White avenues – will give motorists more options for finding destinations on Cumberland while avoiding the Phase II work.

                Businesses in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor will remain accessible. For drivers wishing to avoid the construction zone, their best option is to follow the City’s recommended detour routes:

n  From Kingston Pike and northbound and southbound Alcoa Highway, take Neyland Drive to Joe Johnson Drive to Volunteer Boulevard.

n  Those wishing to reach Cumberland Avenue from the north or coming off Interstate 40/75 can do so via 17th Street.

n  To most quickly access Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, take 17th Street to Clinch Avenue.


For more information about the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction, regular updates and special offers from area merchants, see www.cumberlandconnect.com.

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10th Update

WATER LINE RELOCATION TO CLOSE TWO-BLOCK SECTION
OF CUMBERLAND AVENUE

From 3 a.m. Saturday, July 11, though 6 a.m. Monday, July 13, a westbound lane of Cumberland Avenue will be closed between Volunteer Boulevard and the ramps east of Alcoa Highway. The practical effect will be a complete closure of all lanes in this two-block section of Cumberland Avenue for 51 hours.

Crews will be rerouting a water line around a 42-inch stormwater line deep below Cumberland Avenue.

Two eastbound lanes and two westbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue already are closed between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard. The weekend water line relocation will temporarily close the single westbound lane that’s currently open through that area.

The rerouting of the water line will close the University Commons Way intersection at Cumberland Avenue. Shoppers or diners wishing to access the University Commons retail complex may do so via Joe Johnson Drive and Neyland Drive.

The utility work also will close the intersection of Volunteer Boulevard at Cumberland Avenue and the entrance to Metron Center Way from Cumberland Avenue. The same detour route as the June 26th weekend closure will be in effect.

The City of Knoxville’s $17 million initiative to redesign Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway east to 17th Street is 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Construction is proceeding in two phases, with Phase I (from Alcoa Highway to 22nd Street) to be completed by the end of 2015, and Phase II (from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street) scheduled for completion in August 2017.

After this weekend’s full closure of the two-block section, one westbound lane on Cumberland Avenue will reopen Monday morning, July 13. Then, by Aug. 1, one eastbound lane will reopen. There will be one lane of traffic in each direction – eastbound and westbound – through the end of the year as Phase I work is completed.

For more information about the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction, regular updates and special offers from area merchants, see www.cumberlandconnect.com.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29th Update


UNDERGROUND UTILITY WORK TO CLOSE LANES
ON TWO-BLOCK SECTION OF 17th STREET

Starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, two of the four lanes on 17th Street between Clinch Avenue and Cumberland Avenue will be closed.

The closures on the two-block section of 17th Street will allow utility work that is part of the construction of The Standard, a 240-plus-unit apartment complex being built on the southwest corner of 17th Street and White Avenue.

The work – underground electrical and communication duct bank construction – will continue into August. One northbound lane and one southbound lane on 17th Street will remain open through the two-block section. The sidewalk on the west side of 17th Street also will be closed.

The 17th Street closures are not directly part of the City of Knoxville’s Cumberland Avenue redesign project. However, Bob Whetsel, the City’s Director of Redevelopment, believes the City’s investment in infrastructure in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor is helping to successfully leverage major private reinvestment in the area.

“The City is committing $17 million in local and federal funds into the Cumberland project,” Whetsel said. “When the redesign is completed in 2017, traffic will flow better, utility lines will have been relocated, and sidewalks will be wider and landscaped. Cumberland visitors and residents will enjoy a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

“The public investment is helping to stimulate dramatic redevelopment – more than $130 million in private investments – along the Cumberland Avenue Corridor, including The Standard.”

Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) Update

Date: Wednesday, July 1
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 pm 

Location: Copper Cellar, 1807 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 Copper Cellar, 1807 Cumberland Avenue. Bring a neighbor or a fellow co-worker.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 25 Update - Closure and Detour Information

TWO-BLOCK SECTION OF CUMBERLAND AVENUE
TO COMPLETELY CLOSE FRIDAY THROUGH MIDDAY MONDAY

Starting Friday morning, all lanes of Cumberland Avenue, in both directions, will be closed between 22nd Street and the ramps east of Alcoa Highway. Crews will be continuing to install a new 42-inch stormwater line 12 feet below Cumberland Avenue and rebuilding the at-grade railroad crossing in that section of Cumberland.

                The closure of the two-block section of Cumberland Avenue will start at 10 a.m. Friday, June 26, and will continue through noon Monday, June 29.

                The work will close University Commons Way at Cumberland Avenue. Shoppers or diners wishing to access the University Commons retail complex may do so via Joe Johnson Drive and Neyland Drive.

The road closure is part of the City of Knoxville’s $17 million 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Construction is proceeding in two phases, with Phase I (from Alcoa Highway to 22nd Street) to be completed by the end of 2015, and Phase II (from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street) scheduled for completion in August 2017.

The complete closure that starts Friday is part of a summer construction phase in which all eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue already are closed between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard. One westbound lane currently is open.

After this weekend’s full closure for the stormwater line installation and railroad crossing rebuild, one westbound lane on Cumberland Avenue will reopen at noon Monday.

The closure of the eastbound lanes and the stormwater line installation is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1. At that point, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction – eastbound and westbound – through the end of the year as Phase I work is completed.

Businesses and other destinations in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor remain accessible, and the best way to reach them is to follow the City’s recommended detour routes:

n  From Kingston Pike and northbound and southbound Alcoa Highway, take Neyland Drive to Joe Johnson Drive to Volunteer Boulevard.

n  Those wishing to reach Cumberland Avenue from the north or coming off Interstate 40/75 can do so via 17th Street.

n  To most quickly access Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, take 17th Street to Clinch Avenue.


In addition, Cumberland Avenue Corridor visitors can ride KAT buses for free. Routes 10, 11 and 17 are all free from Gay Street to Cumberland, and bus riders can board along Cumberland Avenue fare-free.

Also, free public parking on weekends and after 6 p.m. weekdays is available in the Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center lot at 19th Street and White Avenue and in the UT Federal Credit Union lot at 22nd Street and White Avenue.

For more information about the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction, regular updates and special offers from area merchants, see www.cumberlandconnect.com/.


Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19th Update

SECTION OF CUMBERLAND AVENUE,
UNIVERSITY COMMONS WAY TO TEMPORARILY CLOSE

                Two major street closures are scheduled next week as milestones are met and work progresses on the City of Knoxville’s Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project:

n  The entrance to the University Commons shopping center from Cumberland Avenue will be closed Monday, June 22, through Thursday, June 25, while construction crews connect stormwater quality devices with the Cumberland Avenue stormwater line. University Commons will remain accessible from Joe Johnson Drive, via Neyland Drive.

n  From 10 a.m. Friday, June 26, through noon Monday, June 29, all lanes of Cumberland Avenue, in both directions, will be closed between 22nd Street and the ramps east of Alcoa Highway. Crews will be installing a stormwater line and rebuilding the railroad crossing in that section of Cumberland Avenue.

“The rebuilding of the at-grade railroad crossing is a milestone in the Phase I work, as it required significant coordination with multiple stakeholders,” said Project Manager Anne Wallace.

“We know it’ll be a challenging weekend for merchants and motorists, but we ask for patience as these strategic upgrades are put in place. The end result will be better traffic flow and a rejuvenated Cumberland Avenue Corridor.”

The work is part of the City of Knoxville’s $17 million 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Construction is proceeding in two phases, with Phase I (from Alcoa Highway to 22nd Street) to be completed by the end of 2015, and Phase II (from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street) scheduled for completion in August 2017.

Next week’s work comes during a period of construction in which all eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue are currently closed between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard. One westbound lane is open. This closure is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 1, allowing for the installation of a new 42-inch stormwater line approximately 12 feet below the roadway. After the closure, there will be one lane of traffic in each direction – eastbound and westbound – through the completion of Phase I work.

For more information about the Cumberland Avenue reconstruction, regular updates and special offers from area merchants, see www.cumberlandconnect.com/.

Friday, June 12, 2015

June 11th Update

City of Knoxville Update

FEWER ONE-WAY STREETS IN CUMBERLAND AVENUE CORRIDOR
SOON WILL GIVE MOTORISTS MORE OPTIONS

                Starting Monday, motorists will be seeing more orange barrels around the Cumberland Avenue Corridor. But for those eager for a quicker commute through the City’s reconstruction zone, these barrels signal an improvement that’s coming soon.

                Crews with the City’s contractor, Southern Constructors, will be reworking the traffic flow on streets feeding into the eastern end of Cumberland Avenue. Four streets will be converted from one-way to two-way traffic – 18th, 19th, Mountcastle and 21st Street – between Lake and White avenues. (There is already two-way traffic on 20th Street.)

Orange barrels will go up over the next two weeks as a safety measure to allow drivers to become accustomed to the new traffic patterns while lanes are restriped and other steps are taken to assure a safe change-over from one-way to two-way traffic.

“Changing the traffic pattern will make it easier for motorists to get to a particular business,” said Anne Wallace, Project Manager for the City of Knoxville’s Office of Redevelopment. “Merchants in the corridor are accessible, and eliminating these one-way streets gives drivers new options to more quickly reach their destinations.

“The two-way streets will remain in place even after the reconstruction is finished. In fact, the new traffic pattern was planned for in the reconstruction. Once this two-year project is completed, the result will be a Cumberland Avenue Corridor that is safer, looks better and works better for everybody.”

The Cumberland Avenue Corridor Project is a $17 million 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, and utility lines relocated, to create a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly corridor.

Construction is proceeding in two phases, with Phase I (from Alcoa Highway to 22nd Street) to be completed by the end of 2015, and Phase II (from 22nd Street to just east of 17th Street) to follow, with completion in August 2017.

                The upcoming changes in the traffic flow on the eastern end of Cumberland Avenue coincide with work already underway for the Phase II utility reconstruction. Currently, Cumberland Avenue has one lane open in each direction between 19th and 22nd streets as KUB performs Phase II utility upgrades.

                Phase I work on the western end continues, with all eastbound lanes of Cumberland Avenue between University Commons and West Volunteer Boulevard closed due to storm water line installation.

                “Even with the lanes closures, Cumberland Avenue merchants remain accessible,” Wallace emphasizes. “Visitors to shops and restaurants can also access Cumberland businesses using Free Fare KAT bus service. Routes 10, 11 and 17 are all free from Gay Street to Cumberland.”

Free public parking on weekends and after 6 p.m. weekdays is available in the Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center lot at 19th Street and White Avenue and in the UT Federal Credit Union lot at 22nd Street and White Avenue.


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