April 21, 2023

VU infrastructure project to close Natchez Trace beginning May 1

This information was provided by Vanderbilt University Facilities Department:

The section of Natchez Trace between Kensington Place and Jess Neely Drive will be closed from Monday, May 1 to Thursday, June 15. This will be for Phase 1 of the Athletics section of the Vanderbilt University’s Central Utilities Initiative (CUI) project. The CUI will provide utility enhancements in support of Vandy United projects, the new Highland Quad Residential Colleges that will be constructed along 25th Ave South, and other future university projects.


  • Natchez Trace will only be open to local vehicular traffic to parking lots and driveways north of Kensington Place and south of Jess Neely Drive throughout the project.
  • There will be no through traffic on Natchez Trace from West End Avenue to Blakemore Avenue.
  • A reminder: Jess Neely Drive is permanently closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Riders of shuttles that use Natchez Trace will be informed if there are any changes to shuttle routes


  • Pedestrians can access Natchez Trace and Jess Neely Drive throughout the project and should follow posted detour signage.
  • On Natchez Trace, sidewalks will remain open on both sides of the street north of Kensington Place. South of Kensington Place, pedestrians will be directed onto a single, accessible sidewalk through the construction area to Jess Neely Drive.
  • Two construction areas will impact the existing sidewalk, so pedestrians will cross to the other side of the closed street. Flaggers, temporary curb ramps, and signs will be in place to navigate around the work zone for everyone’s safety.
  • A temporary, accessible sidewalk will be constructed adjacent to Jess Neely Drive as work expands in the area to maintain pedestrian access on the south side of Jess Neely Drive.


  • Due to space limitations, bicyclists will be asked to slow down, dismount, and walk along Natchez Trace and Jess Neely Drive.
  • Alternately, non-dismount access to campus will remain open by detouring along Vanderbilt Place and Children’s Way.
  • Southbound bicycle traffic on Natchez Trace from West End and Centennial Park is recommended to detour west to 28th Avenue South to enter campus.

This is the first of multiple phases that will occur in this area. More will be released about the next phases closer to the date of construction. For more information about the CUI project please visit https://www.vanderbilt.edu/futurevu/central-utilities-initiative-cui/ or to keep updated about CUI project timeline please visit https://vanderbilt-cui.brasfieldgorrie.com/.

For questions or concerns please contact the Facilities Department at facilities@vanderbilt.edu.

Please refer to the map that identifies details of vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle impacts, as well as adjustments to drop-offs and deliveries during this phase of construction.