Henley Bridge complete, businesses seeing more customers

(WBIR) After nearly three and a half years, crews have finally completed the Henley Bridge project.

Mark Nagi, with the Tennessee Department of Transportation, confirmed via Twitter that all five lanes on Henley Bridge, along with bike lanes and sidewalks, opened Tuesday, June 3.

In October, TDOT reopened the bridge to traffic.

The project, plagued with delays for years, cost about $31 million, according to TDOT.

The Henley Bridge closed back in January 2011. Within the first year, two workers were killed on the job, temporarily shutting down construction. TDOT later announced crews would need to replace three of the large concrete pier columns, pushing the completion date into 2014.

Since the closure of the Henley Bridge, several South Knoxville businesses said they've been struggling to stay afloat. Now that the repair project in complete, a couple of businesses say the're already starting to see a difference.

"We've been getting new customers from out of state and out of town. Business has been picking up since the bridge has been open," said Tambera Hopson with Kay's Ice Cream.

"It's a lot easier now that they don't have to do the detour. We've had a lot of customers who are excited and happy to be coming back to Bayou Bay and getting across easier," said Bridgette Fritz of Bayou Bay Seafood House.


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