Two overnight utility installations in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor will close sections of 17th Street and Cumberland Avenue on consecutive nights, but the duration of the work is being shortened, and the scheduling adjusted, to better accommodate a business on The Strip.


Starting at 10 p.m. today (Wednesday, June 29), a section of 17th Street between Cumberland and White avenues will be closed as crews install a street lighting duct bank across 17th Street. The street will reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday, June 30.


Northbound motorists on 17th Street will be detoured from Cumberland Avenue onto 16th Street and then onto Clinch Avenue before reconnecting with 17th Street. Southbound motorists on 17th Street will be detoured onto White and 16th streets.


Then, starting at 10 p.m. Thursday, June 30, a contractor will be installing a new water line across Cumberland Avenue, prompting a closure of Cumberland between 17th and 19th streets until 6 a.m. Friday, July 1. The work originally had been scheduled to be done over three earlier nights, but the project was rescheduled and condensed into one overnight shift at the request of a business.


Westbound motorists on Cumberland Avenue will be detoured onto Melrose Place to Lake Avenue to 19th Street before reconnecting to Cumberland. Eastbound motorists on Cumberland Avenue will be detoured onto 19th Street to Clinch Avenue to 17th Street before returning to Cumberland.


Meanwhile, underground utility upgrades have been completed on 19th Street north of Cumberland. Crews today will be repaving that section of 19th Street, but the street will remain open during the repaving.


“We understand that the City’s $17 million reconstruction of Cumberland Avenue directly affects businesses and their customers, and that’s why we’re constantly talking with one another and figuring out creative ways to lessen any inconveniences,” said Anne Wallace, the City’s Deputy Director of Redevelopment.


“A lot of the underground utility work is being done during the summer months, when many University of Tennessee students are gone and traffic is lightest. Our contractor has been working on many projects at night, and in the case of the two jobs being done this week, we’ve compacted the work into a single-night road closures.


“The bottom line is: Cumberland Avenue has been and will remain open for business. I think visitors are surprised by the relative ease of getting to their favorite restaurants or retailers.”


The City’s reconstruction project is scheduled to be completed by August 2017. The existing four-lane Cumberland between 22nd and 17th streets is being remade into 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.


“We appreciate the patience of the merchants and their customers,” Wallace said. “The City’s investment in infrastructure and streetscape upgrades will create a more attractive, safer, pedestrian-friendly Cumberland Avenue, and the merchants are enthusiastic about all the great things happening throughout the Cumberland Corridor.”


More information is available at, on the Cumberland Connect Facebook page,, and on the Cumberland Connect phone app. Or text VFL to 313131 to get text messages on the most current traffic updates.