KNOXVILLE - Saturday's home opener against Indiana State marked the first time in nearly three years Vols fans enjoyed a game day without construction on Cumberland Avenue.
Last month, city and state leaders cut the ribbon on the new streetscape.
Both fans and business owners say they are thankful the project is finished.
"It's been pretty tough here," Copper Cellar general manager Kit Housley said.
Housley says his restaurant has seen a drop in business over the last three years.
"Anytime your business takes a hit, there's certainly frustration," Housely said.
The project narrowed Cumberland Avenue from four lanes to two and added turn lanes throughout.
The goal of the project was to make the corridor more friendly for foot traffic. Now that construction is complete and pedestrians are plentiful, Housely predicts business will pick back up.
"I think that people that might not have come down in the last three years will see that we're open and see that it looks great," Housely said. "Hopefully we've seen the worse of it and by this time next year it'll be like it never happened."
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