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Safety Improvement Project on Central Avenue

The University of Memphis and the City of Memphis have joined together to improve safety on Central Avenue along the north side of the university’s main campus. The first phase of the improvement project is expected to begin in early September, contingent on city notice to proceed.


The University has worked with city officials for many years to develop a plan to improve pedestrian safety in the area. The project is being funded by state capital maintenance funds and enhancement grants, as well as money from the City of Memphis Capital Improvement Program.


Those traveling in the area may experience traffic congestion and delays while this improvement project is underway. Work will begin near the intersection of Zach Curlin and Central Avenue, moving westward to Deloach Street.


The first phase includes sidewalks on the south side of Central and the construction of a new intersection at Zach Curlin and Central. One lane on the south side of Central will be closed to facilitate this work. It is expected to take four to five months to complete and is the longest phase of the project.


Phase two is expected to begin in early 2014 and will include the construction of a new center median on Central. Only one lane will be open in each direction during this construction, which is expected to begin in early 2014 and last two to three months.


During the third phase, slated to start next spring, the north lane will be closed for the construction of new sidewalks. This final phase should take three to four months to complete. 


“We are thankful to the city for their focus on this important project,” said David Zettergren, vice president of business and finance at the U of M. “Pedestrian safety is always a priority for us.”


The University of Memphis welcomed almost 21,000 students this fall.


A project map is available below.


Project Map (PDF)

City of Memphis Central Avenue Pedestrian Enhancements, Oct 2013 (PDF)


Updated: October 4, 2013

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