| September 17, 2010 -
The City of Knoxville will host an informational meeting on the upcoming closure and reconstruction of the Henley Street Bridge from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, September 28 in the City County Building's Large Assembly Room.
Representatives from the Tennessee Department of Transportation will be on hand to discuss some of the details of the project which is slated to begin in early 2011.
TDOT will close the 80-year-old bridge for up to 36 months while the structure is dismantled, down to the arches, and rebuilt. The plans include expanding the deck from the current five-lane configuration to its maximum width of six lanes while keeping the sidewalks at their current width.
TDOT has agreed to the City of Knoxville's request to utilize the sixth lane for bicycle traffic.
During the September 28, meeting TDOT officials will describe steps being taken to reroute traffic via James White Parkway, the South Knoxville Bridge and Moody Avenue. Chapman Highway, between the Tennessee River and Moody Avenue, will remain open for traffic during the closure period.
The construction contract will be bid on September 17. It's hoped that the contractor for the project will be present at the meeting on September 28 and TDOT will be able to tell those in attendance that the bridge will not be closed prior to a specified date in 2011.
TDOT is also having the grand opening of its Henley Community Center, at 220 East Blount Avenue, across from the old Baptist Hospital) at 11 a.m., Tuesday, September 21. TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely will be here for that event and the community center will provide residents with information about the project.
TDOT has classified the Henley Bridge, which opened in 1930, as being structural deficient and reports that it does not meet current safety standards. The bridge carried an average of 38,813 vehicles per day in 2008.
More information about the project is available at www.tn.gov/henley.