KNOXVILLE (WATE) - State and local officials talked Monday with Chapman Highway business owners who say they're struggling to stay open since the Henley Bridge closed in January.
"We want to make sure that every avenue from the state level to the local level has been examined," said Knoxville City Councilman Nick Pavlis. :If there's something we can do for the merchants along the way, then that's great. But we never know unless we talk."
Steve Boyce owns Rush's Music and says he's grateful his customers can visit his other stores.
"It truly has made it hard on them because a lot of people that used to come here now go to our west store," Boyce said. "But we do have an outlet for them to work there."
Chapman Highway Muffler and Brake did pretty good business when the bridge was open, but money has been tight now that fewer customers drive there.
"Average of 20-30 customers a week, about an average of 150,000 every year, so that's a pretty big drop," said owner Michael Grooms.
State officials hope ideas from business owners will help them help the struggling businesses, but they admit there may be nothing they can do.
"At the moment, we think from a traffic standpoint and a safety standpoint, it's operating as best it can," said Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer.
No decisions have been made about how to increase the flow of retail traffic in the area yet.
Any ideas that are presented will be discussed in Knoxville and in Nashville.