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Henley Bridge Closed for 24 to 30 Months

By John Disque

The Henley Bridge has been closed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation for approxmately 24 to 30 months for an extensive bridge rehabilitation project.

henley bridge
Henley Street Bridge Construction, 1-3-11, photo by John Disque [More Photos]

The bridge will be carefully dismantled down to the concrete arches which will be salvaged. An estimated 24,000 tons of concrete and 800 tons of steel will be recycled as crews remove it from the structure. The contractor, Britton Bridge, LLC, will begin by milling the bridge deck. The asphalt will also be recycled.

Crews plan to work around the clock for the first week of the project to get an aggressive start. However, the schedule is eventually expected to become 10 to 12 hour days, 6 days a week.

TDOT staff will also closely monitor the official detour route from Chapman Highway to Moody Avenue to James White Parkway which became fully functional on Wednesday, December 29. TDOT will also work with the City of Knoxville to monitor alternate routes.

"We realize that this is a new traffic pattern and we evaluate signalization, pavement markings and signage to help the motorist to adjust to the detour around the Henley Bridge," TDOT Region One Director Steve Borden said. "We ask that drivers pay close attention to the signs and remain patient while travelers learn the new traffic pattern."

On the first day of the bridge closure, traffic was very light on Chapman Highway close to the Henley Bridge but very heavy on John Sevier Highway as vehicles were backed up for 1-1/2 miles to turn onto Alcoa Highway.

Meanwhile, detour maps and Henley brochures are available at the Henley Bridge Community Center at 220 East Blount Avenue, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.. For more information and to watch construction on the project, you can visit www.tn.gov/henley or follow the project at twitter.com/Henley Bridge.

Published January 3, 2011

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