State Route 73 (US 321) at Fort Loudoun Dam

Loudon County

Overview

The project for State Route 73 (US 321) at Fort Loudoun Dam includes reconstruction and widening for approximately 1.71 miles. The existing roadway will be widened to a four-lane highway from SR 2 (US 11) to east of the Tellico Canal. This section is the only section of US 321 that is not a four-lane highway between I-40 and Maryville.

The widening project also includes the construction of three bridges. One is a concrete I‐beam bridge over the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The other two are welded steel girder bridges, one across the Tennessee River and one parallel to the existing bridge over the Tellico Canal.

The existing J. Carmichael Greer Bridge over the dam will be removed without impeding the functions of the dam and the lock.

Early in project development, TVA expressed a desire not to replace or widen the existing bridge on the dam for the following reasons.

  • The bridge hampers access by TVA to perform maintenance on the dam.
  • Maintenance operations on the dam require stopping traffic across the bridge.
  • TVA facilities can be separated from public access by constructing a new bridge over the river downstream from the dam.

History

The Fort Loudoun Dam is the uppermost of nine dams built by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on the Tennessee River. The dam was completed in 1943. In 1963, the J. Carmichael Greer Bridge was built across the 4,190-foot-long Fort Loudoun Dam.

*Images displayed above show bridge construction over the Tennessee River on August 3, 2016. Photos Courtesy: Aerial Innovations


Video: On Tuesday, July 11, 2017, the new Tennessee River bridge opened to southbound traffic. The bridge opened to northbound traffic roughly 12 hours later.