Henley Bridge

Henley Bridge

I attended this meeting with Tennessee Department of Transportation about the Henley Bridge. The Henley Bridge is a concrete arch open spandrel bridge built in about 1930. It carries the bulk of traffic across the Tennessee River into South Knoxville and is in need of extensive repair. It will be closed for up to 3 years as it is stripped to its arches and reconstructed.

When I first heard that people were suggesting bike lanes, I was dubious. This is an important link for congested car traffic, but not attractive for bikes. But then I thought more about it and realized that there were some valuable connections that could be made. I frequently use Blount Avenue on the south side;  Hill Ave. on the north side could connect to downtown and to the UT campus area. And establishing the precedent of putting bike lanes in a place like this and the preservation of this link for the future is really valuable .

I expected that the meeting would be an “announce and defend” event, but it turned out that the TDOT folks provided good information and listened to the community, and the community said that it wants bike and ped accomodation on this bridge. There is actually some possibility that bike lanes could happen if the community continues to push the city and TDOT. An email to David Massey is a good place to start. Massey says that more formal letters can be addressed to John Hunter, Chief Traffic Engineer, City of Knoxville, P.O. Box 1631, Knoxville, TN 37901, and/or to others in the Administration as you wish.

More info about the bridge and nice pictures here.

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