Henley Bridge community center serves dual purpose

Henley Bridge community center serves dual purpose

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By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Although few people so far are stopping by the information center for the closing and reconstruction of the Henley Bridge, the state says it will serve a dual purpose.

The Henley Community Center opened its doors on September 21. It's located at 220 East Blount Avenue, directly across from the south side of Henley Bridge, in an old bank building.

Since its opening, 19 people have stopped by to ask questions about the project.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation say the number one question they get about the project so far is detours.

However, many people don't know the community center serves a dual purpose.

"The project folks that will be out here, Thompson Engineering and other consultants we will have, they will be able to work out of this office as well. They'll have computers and phone lines they'll be able to use," explains TDOT spokeswoman Yvette Martinez.

TDOT leases the community center building from Mercy Health Partners for $3,100 a month.     

The money used to run the center is part of the project. "Any construction project that we have, a project office is built into the contract. It's part of our obligations as TDOT to have a place for people to work out of," Martinez said.

She also says although the number of visitors has been low so far, she expects the number to increase when the project starts.

The bridge will close sometime in January 2011 and could stay closed as long as 30 to 36 months.

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