Utility Work Kicks Off N. Central Streetscapes Project

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Utility Work Kicks Off N. Central Streetscapes Project

Posted: 10/24/2016
In partnership with the City of Knoxville’s North Central Streetscapes Project, KUB and its contractor, Adams and Sons, are scheduled to begin work on the utility improvement portion of the project on Monday, Oct. 24.

The utility upgrade portion of the project will replace water main along a 12-block section of North Central Street, beginning in the area just north of the railroad tracks in the Old City near Depot Avenue and progressing northward to Woodland Avenue. As part of this project, a section of water main on Fifth Avenue between Lamar Street and Williams Street also will be replaced. Sections of water main in this area date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Combined, the KUB and City infrastructure investments will total more than $5 million.

The joint project begins with KUB’s utility infrastructure upgrades – a $1.85 million investment, which includes replacement of 8,800 feet of water main and 26 fire hydrants. Some natural gas infrastructure will need to be relocated as part of this project to accommodate City of Knoxville improvements to the stormwater system in the area.

KUB anticipates completing all the utility upgrades by summer 2017. However, construction will be completed in block-to-block sections, so the entire length of North Central Street will not be affected at any one time. Lane closures and shifts will be required in the work zones to safely accommodate construction. KUB will maintain ingress and egress to businesses, offices and parking areas.

The utility work is starting ahead of the City of Knoxville’s more than $3 million Streetscapes project, which will include sidewalk improvements, new curbs, “bulb outs” and other features to improve pedestrian safety; better-defined on-street parking; better-marked bike lanes; landscaping; and resurfacing. One of the most visible aspects of the City’s streetscape project will be the creation of a new linear park between Pearl Place and Baxter Avenue – a block with enhanced landscaping, benches and other amenities.

The City’s streetscapes project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018. To review a presentation from an Oct. 13 public meeting, or to access archival documents on the Central streetscapes project, please visit www.knoxvilletn.gov/centralstreet.

The first phase of KUB’s utility construction will begin Monday, Oct. 24, in the area of North Central Street near the railroad tracks just south of Depot Avenue and will progress northward toward Magnolia Avenue. 

To facilitate safe working conditions and to provide adequate space for construction vehicles and equipment, the contractor will close the southbound lane of North Central Street between Magnolia Avenue and the railroad tracks north of Jackson Avenue starting at 6 a.m. Monday, Oct. 24. The around-the-clock lane closure will remain in place through mid-November 2016. Southbound motorists on Central Street will be detoured around the work zone via West Magnolia Avenue to Gay Street, to West Jackson Avenue, then to South Central Street. Northbound commuters will not be affected by the KUB project.

Construction methods will include open-cut replacement, as well as trenchless construction methods. Weekday work hours will be limited to 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some night and weekend work may be required to meet project milestone dates. 

KUB will post regular updates throughout the project on its website at www.kub.org and on the KUB Facebook page. Additionally, KUB has set up a blog to keep customers informed about the project: kubmajorprojects.blogspot.com

KUB customers also can call 865-558-2330 after normal business hours to leave a message that will be followed up with a call from a KUB representative by the end of the next business day.