KNOXVILLE -- Less traffic may be flowing through Greene County following last weekend's reopening of the Wolf Creek Bridge on Tenn. Route 9 in Cocke County.
The bridge reopened to traffic for the first time in nearly two years, according to a news release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
During its closure, traffic headed east from Newport to Hot Springs, N.C., and was rerouted to Tenn. Rt. 107 (Houston Valley Road), and then onto Tenn. Rt. 70 (Asheville Highway).
That route was 11 miles longer than if traffic had been able to travel over the Wolf Creek Bridge.
Trucks faced an even longer detour.
They left Newport on U.S. 321 (the Newport Highway) to Greeneville, then traveled south on the Asheville Highway through southern Greene County to Hot Springs. That route added 33 miles to their trip.
The bridge, which was classified as structurally deficient, was dismantled down to the concrete arches and then rebuilt.
The bridge is now wider, at 30 feet instead of 24 feet, to accommodate wider travel lanes and 2-foot shoulders, according to the release.
The Wolf Creek Bridge, which was originally completed in 1928, is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
To learn more about the Wolf Creek Bridge project, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/wolfcreek