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Jack has done a great job of capturing what this project is about, and what the needs and issues are in relation to the community it serves. He's dead on in his assessment of the numbers and projections - increased capacity is not the critical issue with this bridge.
I've been involved with the whole Henley Bridge project for some time, and have been very concerned that TDOT was just going to go with their plan to widen for more vehicular traffic regardless of the need or community desires. I was at the meeting that Jack references, and I was very pleased and impressed with the way TDOT's Deputy Chief Engineer responded to those concerns. He was open to what the city and community wanted. Hallelujah! The clouds have parted and there's light!
As Jack indicates, TDOT is looking to the City of Knoxville for guidance on how that extra width should be allocated. It's hard to overstate how big a step forward that is for the state. Now, the question is, how will the city respond? I for one am hopeful that the administration will recommend the clear public preference that was heard at that meeting: make the bridge one that's friendly to all users, regardless of whether they're driving, biking or walking. In fact, one has to wonder if they would consider doing anything else. It can and should be done.
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