November 24, 2009 -
The City of Knoxville will hold a public meeting to discuss the status of the Henley Street Bridge project at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Graystone Presbyterian Church located at 139 Woodlawn Pike.
John Hunter, chief traffic engineer for the City of Knoxville, will provide an overview of the project. Officials of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will be on hand to answer questions.
Representatives of nine South Knoxville neighborhood groups requested the meeting primarily to learn about and provide input to TDOT’s plans for traffic mitigation measures during the time the bridge is closed for a major rebuild.
The five-lane bridge, built in 1930, is due for extensive repairs. The entire deck has to be replaced, along with the supports leading from the arches to the deck.
So far -- in part because funding is still uncertain – no dates have been announced for requesting bids for rebuilding the bridge and awarding a contract. Until those dates are known, TDOT says it cannot estimate when the bridge will be closed. Once it does close, the bridge could be out of commission for as long as 28-36 months.
Henley Street Bridge carried an average of 38,813 vehicles per day in 2008, according to TDOT. Some traffic will divert to the Gay Street and Alcoa Highway bridges, but most traffic likely will follow a detour that includes James White Parkway, the South Knoxville Bridge, Sevierville Pike, and E. Moody Avenue.
Neighborhood groups asking for the meeting include those from the Colonial Village, Island Home Park, Lake Forest, Lindbergh Forest, Old Sevier, South Haven, South Woodlawn, Southside Riverfront, and Vestal neighborhoods.