The Heritage of Daniel Haston


The Caney Fork of the Cumberland
1970s Bridge Changes - Page 34
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Changes Made in Bridges by TVA in 1971-72

The Power Company made contracts with the County Courts of Warren, White and Van Buren Counties in 1915 which provided that the Counties would grant the right to flood the fords and build the Great Falls dam and in return the Power Company would build certain bridges and road approaches and that after the work was done the Power Company would maintain the bridges forever and the Counties would maintain the roads to them.  "Forever" meant replacing if damaged or destroyed but did not include any improvements in width, strength, etc. in the future.

Many were damaged or destroyed in the 1929 flood and replaced by the Power Company.  In a few cases the floor level was raised.  An agreement was made with the Counties whereby the Power Company agreed to make some major improvements in the Hodge Bridge and in return the Counties would take over the maintenance.

During the 1960's the TVA replaced the Hennessee Bridge on Collins with a 2-lane structure designed for modern traffic.  The County took over maintenance and was given the old spans to be used elsewhere.

By 1970 the remaining bridges were from 45 to 55 years old, one lane traffic was a bottle neck and the safe load on all the structures was far too low for modern traffic.  The TVA made contracts with the Counties under which the former agreed to build new modern bridges for 2-lane traffic and the Counties agreed to take over all future maintenance.  The work was completed in April, 1972 at a cost of nearly $6 million.  5 bridges and 2 culverts were built to replace 8 bridges.  The work is outlined below.

Blank's Mill Bridge - Relocated about 1000 feet upstream from the old bridge and road

approaches straightened out.

Brady Haston Bridge - New bridge is located about 400 feet downstream from the old

bridge and about 1 mile of new road approaches built.

Butt's Bridge - New bridge is located about 400 feet downstream from the old bridge and

the road approaches were straightened.

Dry Branch - Culvert in about the same location as the old bridge.
Simmons Bridge - New bridge is about 1000 feet downstream from the old location.
Spring Branch - Culvert in about the same location as the old bridge.  The road between this

bridge and Simmons Bridge was relocated.

Tosh - Reno Bridges - Both bridges were removed and a new bridge was built about 2 1/2

miles above Tosh and 3.6 miles downstream from Reno.  The new location required the construction of a new road on the Van Buren side of the river extending South to the road from McElroy to Dry Branch and on the White County side building some new road to connect with Highway 70 about 1/2 mile west of Onward.

Additional Bridge Notes

McMinnville (Hgw 108 to Viola) over Barren Fork - The first structure was a wood

covered bridge built in 1852.  Archie Faulkner's initials and the date were cut in one of the foundation stones.  Small boys used to play in the bridge on rainy days.  The bridge was burned during the War by General Wilder's army (1863) and they also burned the Depot, warehouses in depot bottom and the Railroad bridge.  One abutment of the original bridge was still visible in 1934.  The story is told that John Argo brought the hot coals to fire the Railroad bridge.

River Hill over Caney Fork - Power Co. paid County $17,000 in 1929 and the bridge was

not replaced.

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