(WIBR - West Knoxville) Commuting has gotten much easier for anyone living and working in West Knoxville after Lyons View Pike recently reopened. The popular roadway has been closed since April 2013 for repairs, but now drivers are glad to be able to travel along the street again.
Tracy Thompson of Knoxville said, "We're thrilled it's open. It frees up the traffic jams and gets drivers up and down the road quicker."
Dan Brittain of Knoxville said, "I think everybody's probably pretty happy about it."
Abby Leake of Knoxville said, "We'll get to UT games quicker and going to Cherokee Country Club is quicker."
Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) said workers with Charles Blalock & Sons, and their subcontractor, Pipeline Construction, replaced nearly four miles of natural gas, water, and waste water mains in the Lyons View Pike area during the closure.
KUB Engineer Ted Tyree said, "It's such a narrow roadway and a heavily traveled roadway that when you have to set up to do utility work it really causes an immediate inconvenience to traffic and to the residents."
During the months Lyons View Pike had been closed, commuters were forced to take alternate routes, which caused headaches for some.
Kelly Fletcher of Knoxville said, "There was just a lot of extra traffic on Northshore and Kingston Pike that typically I think gets off-loaded to Lyons View Pike."
Brittain said, "It seemed to have caused a lot of aggravation for a lot of people who live close by."
But now the stretch of roadway has reopened nearly two months ahead of schedule. KUB originally estimated the project wouldn't be finished until November.
Thompson said, "We use it everyday so it's nice to have it open and it's good to see they've finished early."
Kelly Fletcher of Knoxville said, "I think it was inconvenient, but necessary and it's just another improvement to our great city."