Historic Gay Street bridge reopens Monday
April 12, 2004 - A Knoxville trolley on Monday
ferried Mayor Bill Haslam, City Council members and TDOT officials on
the first trip over the newly opened Gay Street bridge.
The 107-year-old bridge has been closed since December 2001 to undergo $15.7 million in repairs
to the steel truss structure.
"The Gay Street Bridge serves as an important link for residents, workers and businesses in
downtown and South Knoxville," said Mayor Haslam. "An estimated 12,000 vehicles used the bridge
daily and this work ensures safe passage for them and new users for years to come."
The structure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had scored a "poor" on
safety inspections, one step above the lowest rating of "critical."
Work included replacing crumbling concrete on the deck and support piers and rusted pin
joints and bearings.
The city of Knoxville paid for 20 percent of construction, and the Federal Bridge Replacement
Program funded the remaining costs. The Tennessee Department of Transportation is serving
as project manager; Ray Bell Construction Co. is general contractor.
Some painting remains to be completed on the bridge and railings, and traffic lanes may
be closed in upcoming weeks as the work is concluded.