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(WBIR) A road project meant to help redesign the Cumberland Avenue strip could start as early as June 1, the city announced Thursday.

In a release, the city said TDOT has given the okay to begin Phase I, which includes the stretch of Cumberland Avenue between 22nd Street and Alcoa Highway. The city said it plans to begin seeking bids for the work starting this weekend.

Construction crews originally planned to start the work after last year's final Vols home game; however, it was delayed.

The city said phase I is expected to last six-months and cost $4 million to ease traffic issues on the western end of the strip.

The work will include widening sidewalks, purchasing new traffic signals, putting in new underground utility lines, and adding a specified turn lane onto northbound Alcoa Highway.

After phase I work is finished, the city said it plans to begin the larger phase II which will include new traffic signals, sidewalks, landscaping and pedestrian-scaled lighting.

The entire Cumberland Avenue streetscape project is estimated to cost $17 million.

Another change will be the look of future buildings. Back in November the city council embraced a new zoning code which would require any new buildings built along Cumberland Avenue to be at least two stories tall.

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