Business owners say so far so good after Henley Bridge closure

Business owners say so far so good after Henley Bridge closure

Posted:

By JAMIE LYNN DROHAN
6 News Reporter 

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - It's been more than two weeks since the closure of the Henley Bridge in downtown Knoxville, and according to nearby business owners, so far so good.

Concerns were raised about the impact to the South Knoxville community just across the Tennessee River from the bridge.

However, "Business has continued. We have had a few people lost. Maybe they would have been lost anyway, but they were lost and it took them a little bit of time to get here," said Steve Boyce, of Rush's Music.

Traffic on Chapman Highway has picked up since the bridge closed on January 3.

Moody Avenue, which intersects with the highway, is the official detour for drivers. The Gay Street bridge in downtown is another detour for the Henley Bridge.

"We have found that it is a little difficult to get here in the morning and go home in the evening, but not as much as we thought it would be," Boyce said.

For businesses like the Disc Exchange on Chapman Highway, the sign outside says it all. "The bridge may be closed, but we're still here."

"Business has been down, but who knows if it was going to be down anyway or if it might have been up? I think the snow has had a lot of the effect on us," said John Bevis, with Disc Exchange.

For the most part, business owners say they haven't had much negative feedback from customers regarding the detours.

Business managers say they will be interested to see what kind of effect, if any, the bridge closure will have on business a few months from now.

The Disc Exchange also wants to squash the rumor that the store is moving. Management says as long as customers continue to visit, they will be fine and have no plans to go anywhere at this time.

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