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
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
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
|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