Tuesday, March 11, 2014

March 11th Update - Notice to Proceed to Construction for Phase I

Cumberland Avenue Phase I - Out for Bid
The city of Knoxville issued the following press release on March 6th, also available here.
Work could start as early as June 1 on Phase I of the Cumberland Avenue Corridor street redesign – an estimated $4 million six-month construction project that aims to ease traffic clogs on the western end of the corridor.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has given the City the Notice to Proceed to Construction on Phase I, the stretch of Cumberland Avenue between 22nd Street and Alcoa Highway. The City will advertise to begin seeking bids starting this weekend.

Work will include putting in new underground stormwater and gas lines to support new commercial and residential developments in the area. (Some of the utility infrastructure predates World War II.) The project also will add and widen sidewalks, resurface the road and purchase new, higher-performing traffic signals.

“But the really big key will be the improvements at Alcoa Highway,” said Project Manager Anne Wallace with the City’s Office of Redevelopment.

Currently, motorists trying to access northbound Alcoa Highway from Cumberland Avenue are frequently getting snarled in backups.

One problem is that there’s currently no dedicated turn lane onto northbound Alcoa Highway, just a lane that’s shared by exiting vehicles and through traffic. Another problem is an antiquated signal at Metron Way and Cumberland that doesn’t function well and doesn’t always allow vehicles turning west from Volunteer Boulevard onto Cumberland to clear the nearby intersection.

Another reason for traffic hassles on this stretch of road: It carries approximately 35,000 vehicles a day, the highest traffic volume along the Cumberland Avenue Corridor.

Among the planned traffic-flow fixes: Phase I will modernize the traffic signalization plus add a specified turn lane onto northbound Alcoa Highway.

Almost as soon as the Phase I work is completed, the larger Phase II project is anticipated to get under way. But the Phase I improvements – especially the smoother-flowing intersections at Volunteer and at Alcoa Highway - will give motorists more options for avoiding the Phase II construction work, Wallace said.

Phase II calls for a $13 million redesign of Cumberland Avenue from 22nd Street to 16th Street. The work includes new underground utilities, new signals, new sidewalks, the addition of turn lanes and new medians, plus landscaping, benches and pedestrian-scaled lighting.

City officials say the total $17 million investment in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor so far has already leveraged more than $100 million in investment from private developers.

“I’m very excited to get Phase I under construction and see the project come to fruition,” Wallace said.

"Phase I is intended to help improve traffic flow in one of the most congested areas along the corridor. This work sets the stage nicely for Phase II by improving some alternative routes for getting around the second round of construction."

For more coverage, visit:
Knox News Sentinel
Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association (CAMA) Update
The monthly meeting of the Cumberland Avenue Merchants Association was held on March 5th, at 3:00 pm in the Goal Post Tavern. The meeting was attended by representatives of Goal Post Tavern, Graphic Creations, University Liquors, Walgreens, Gyrene Burger, Regions Bank, UTFCU, UTPD and City staff. City staff provided an update on the Streetscape project, sharing the notice to proceed, provided updates on private development projects on the corridor, and parking within the district. The merchants provided updates regarding business during the past month.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 2 at 3:00 pm in the Goal Poast Tavern; please feel free to attend.

Community Events

March 13, 2014
Knoxville Ice Bears vs Fayetteville FireAntz
Civic Coliseum

Purchase tickets by calling (865) 656-4444

March 15, 2014
Be Great Run 8K
Tyson Park
8K run & 2 mile walk

March 15, 2014
Rockabye Butterfly Bash
Volunteer Landing
Rockabye Butterfly is an organization raising funds and awareness for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. This event will donate 100% proceeds to ETCH

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