Henley Bridge to partially reopen to traffic next week

Henley Bridge to partially reopen to traffic next week

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville's Henley Bridge will partially reopen to traffic next week. One lane in each direction is set to reopen on Thursday, October 17 at 12:01 a.m.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation made the announcement at a press conference Thursday morning.

The bridge has been closed to traffic since a major rehabilitation project began in January 2011.

The project was originally scheduled to be complete in June 2013, but the project was delayed after further deterioration within the bridge's concrete piers was discovered.

TDOT announced last month that the bridge was scheduled to partially reopen before Thanksgiving, but did not set an exact date until now.

There will still be lane closures on Henley Bridge restricting traffic to one travel lane in each direction as crews complete staining, decorative and street lighting, and a gas line that runs the length of the bridge.

The contractor will also focus on removing the official detour and paving sections of Neyland Drive, Moody Avenue, and Chapman Highway.

The entire project is expected to be complete by June 3, 2014.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett issued a statement following the announcement.

"Finally, the Henley Street Bridge is reopening to traffic next Thursday, and this is great news for businesses and residents in South Knox County. Unfortunately, the final completion of the bridge is sometime away, so it's important that we continue to support businesses south of the river," said Mayor Burchett.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero also issued a statement.

"TDOT'S announcement that the Henley Bridge will open one lane in each direction on Thursday, Oct. 17, is great news for residents and business owners in South Knoxville. We look forward to the completion of the project in the near future. Meanwhile, let's remember that South Knoxville continues to be open for business," she said.

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