Business owners on Gay Street caught off guard by street closure

Business owners on Gay Street caught off guard by street closure

Posted:
A large crane blocked Gay Street Saturday while delivering roof repair supplies. A large crane blocked Gay Street Saturday while delivering roof repair supplies.
Sheriff Deputies' barricades blocked foot-traffic from the 400 block of Gay Street Saturday. Sheriff Deputies' barricades blocked foot-traffic from the 400 block of Gay Street Saturday.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Business owners on Gay Street in Downtown Knoxville were caught off guard Saturday when they found out the road and sidewalks in front of their doors were going to be closed. 

City officials say a business on Gay Street had acquired the proper permits to have a crane deliver materials to repair the roof. They also say the closure of more than just the northbound lane in the 400 block of Gay Street was not communicated to them, or the business owners. 

David Ewan owns Downtown Wine and Spirits and co-owns Sutrees Tavern with his wife. He says the doors at those two businesses had to remain closed Saturday, resulting in thousands of dollars lost.

City of Knoxville officials say they are deeply concerned about the miscommunication that resulted in downtown closures Saturday. They say permits for the project will be reviewed on Monday and they will explore ways to make sure this never happens again. 

Ewan says the loss of business on a day when weather brings lots of customers downtown is devastating. 

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