City Expected To Relinquish Control Of Some UT Streets

Jan 7, 2014

Johnny Majors Drive and Lake Loudoun Boulevard are among several campus streets that could be transferred from the city of Knoxville to the University of Tennessee.
Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

  If you’ve spent much time on the University of Tennessee campus, you probably know where Lake Loudoun Boulevard is.  Or Pat Head Summitt Street.  Or Johnny Majors Drive.  But you may not know that the university isn’t the one that makes the final decisions on how those roads are maintained or improved.  That responsibility lies with the City of Knoxville.

That may change tonight.

Knoxville City Council will vote on a series of ordinances this evening that would give the university ownership of those roads and several others.  The switch would allow UT officials to make improvements or changes to the roads without having to receive permission from the city.  Meanwhile, the city wouldn’t have to spend the money needed to maintain the streets. 

The transfer of control is part of UT’s plan to take over management of nearly all campus streets between Neyland Drive and Cumberland Avenue, as well as some north of Cumberland Drive.  

The roads listed on tonight’s agenda are all surrounded by UT property.  Some of the other roads in UT’s sights, however, run along property owned by non-UT entities.  “Where there are non-UT property owners involved,” city spokesman Jesse Mayshark tells WUOT News, “the whole thing gets a lot more complicated.”  Those roads include Volunteer Boulevard, the main route through campus, and 13th Street in Fort Sanders, where UT is hoping to construct a new classroom building.