Bar staff hopes South Knox bridge detour boosts business

Bar staff hopes South Knox bridge detour boosts business

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By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A lot of businesses along Chapman Highway are worried about losing customers because of the Henley Bridge closure, but a couple on the Moody Avenue detour are hoping to benefit.

Tammy Perry has been tending bar at the Southside Sports Bar for the last 10 years. "It's been a good place," she said.

It may soon be an even better place. "Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. is when we really noticed the traffic," she said Monday night.

She's hoping some of those new rush hour drivers will decide to stop in. "It could be really good for business," she said.

Henley Bridge Project

It didn't happen on the first day, although there were more people pulling in. "A lot of U-turn people, kind of confused, turned around in the parking lot," she said.

One of those confused drivers caused a wreck with minor injuries at the intersection of Chapman and Moody.

"It could be a case of somebody just not paying attention or not familiar with the new traffic pattern," said Knoxville police Sgt. Brian Evans. "The number of lanes has changed and the configuration for the lights has changed." 

Southside patron Vicki Cockrel, who lives nearby, hope drivers new to this route figure it out quickly. "I think once everybody kinds of gets their routine down and figures out what's going on, I think it will be alright," she said.

And once they do, she hopes they get to know her favorite neighborhood hang-out. "I think it's going to help them some," she said. "It's a big family here."

The Henley Bridge will be closed for the next two and a half years while a multimillion dollar construction project is underway.

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