A key downtown Knoxville route will remain closed for more than two months for utility work.

KUB says crews have started Phase One of its Century 2 upgrade project to upgrade utility systems downtown.

They've closed Central Street between Union Avenue and Summit Hill Drive, and Commerce Avenue off Central.

DETOUR: Downtown construction map (PDF)

It's the first of multiple phases of work in the area.

Drivers will need to take alternative routes to get to the State Street Garage and other downtown spots.

Officials suggest taking Church Avenue to State Street, or going on James White Parkway and getting off at the Cumberland Avenue Exit ramp.