Henley Street Bridge Update

Boat Under the naked arches of the Henley Street Bridge, September 2011

It has been a while since I walked down by the river, mostly because it has been hotter than a frying pan in our favorite little city. Now that the temperatures have eased I’m walking a little farther afield. Urban Woman and I walked down by the river this weekend and I was able to check on the progress of our very large construction project.

Henley Street Bridge, Knoxville, September 2011

I was shocked, though I’m not sure what I expected. I knew the side railings were being knocked off and I guess if I’d thought about it I would have assumed that the actual road atop the bridge would probably come off, but I didn’t expect the columns holding up the road to also be removed.

Henley Street Bridge on north bank, Knoxville, September 2011 

The sight of it made led me to several questions: How far will they go? Will the arches be removed? What about the columns holding up the arches? If not, what makes them safe if the other columns were so unsafe they could not even be repaired? Also, how much of a bridge can you remove and still say it is the same bridge? Will the new bridge even look like the old bridge? Finally, are we sure that saving a tiny bit of the bridge made was actually less expensive than blowing it up and starting from scratch?

Henley Street Bridge from the east, Knoxville, September 2011

Perhaps the engineers who read the blog can enlighten us. I’ll try to check to check on it periodically and let you know just how much of the old bridge will remain. In the meantime, am I the only one who is shocked?