The last intersection in the City’s $17 million Cumberland Avenue reconstruction – Cumberland at 17th Street – will be rebuilt and repaved later this week, requiring detours of motorists on both streets.


The work on the intersection at Cumberland and 17th will require a full closure, starting at 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15. The intersection will remain closed through 6 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19.


Southern Constructors Inc. crews will be lowering the elevation of the intersection and repaving it as part of the reconstruction of a nine-block stretch of Cumberland between the Alcoa Highway ramps and 17th Street. This is the final intersection rebuild of the project, which is more than halfway complete.


The Cumberland Avenue reconstruction project began with Knoxville Utilities Board infrastructure improvements in April 2015, and it’s scheduled to be completed by August 2017. The existing four-lane Cumberland between 22nd and 17th streets is being remade into a safer, more pedestrian-friendly corridor with a three-lane cross section, 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.


The rebuild of the Cumberland-17th intersection was strategically scheduled to take advantage of light traffic during the University of Tennessee’s winter break.


Here are recommended detour routes (please see attached map):


  • Westbound motorists on Cumberland: Turn left onto Volunteer Boulevard; right onto Melrose Place; right onto Lake Avenue; right onto Volunteer, back to westbound Cumberland.


  • Eastbound motorists on Cumberland: Turn left onto 18th Street; right onto White Avenue; right onto 16th Street, back to Cumberland.


  • Southbound motorists on 17th: Turn right onto Clinch Avenue; left onto 22nd Street to access westbound Cumberland. Or turn left onto White, right onto 16th, to access eastbound Cumberland.


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.