KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Downtown Knoxville Alliance is hoping signage will help drivers and pedestrians navigate around two large road construction projects and keep businesses open on the northern end of downtown.
The Jackson Avenue cobblestone ramps leading up to Gay Street were closed Sept. 16. The city is spending $8.2 million to repair the 100-year-old ramps.
The Broadway Avenue viaduct was closed Nov. 3 by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The department is replacing the four-lane viaduct with two travel lanes; a center turn lane on to Jackson Avenue; bike lanes; and sidewalks. The project will cost $17.4 million and take until 2022 to complete.
Downtown Knoxville Alliance is placing signage and has designed a 750-foot-long, chain-link fence screen to cover the length of the Jackson Avenue construction site.
“Parking signage will assist drivers, who can access Jackson Avenue west of Gay Street from Broadway Avenue and east of Gay Street via Central or State streets,” the organization said in a news release. “With the closure of the Broadway viaduct, drivers can easily access the businesses in Broadway/Jackson area via Henley Street or Summit Hill Drive.”
Sidewalk directionals will show pedestrians how to access Jackson Avenue from the Gay Street and Jackson Avenue stairwell. An east-west pedestrian walkway will remain open under Gay Street. .
“While these projects are much-needed, it also was important to maintain as much access as possible to the businesses on Jackson Avenue and the Old City,” Michele Hummel, executive director of the DKA, said.
The Alliance also is providing businesses an easy-to-read map and website and social media promotional content to emphasize they are open during the construction closures.
More information about navigating the closures is available at www.downtownknoxville.org/jackson.
For details on the Jackson Avenue project, visit the city website at www.knoxvilletn.gov/jacksonavenue. For details on the Broadway project, visit TDOT’s site at www.tn.gov/tdot/projects/projects-region-1/broadway-viaduct.html.