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Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Falls Dam and Bridge - Rock Island, TN

Great Falls Dam and Bridge - Rock Island, TN

Great Falls Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Caney Fork, straddling the county line between White County and Warren County. It is the only dam outside the Tennessee River watershed owned and operated by TVA. The dam impounds the Great Falls Lake, and its tailwaters feed into Center Hill Lake. The completion of Great Falls Dam in 1917 was an engineering triumph, marking the first successful attempt to impound the volatile and flood-prone Caney Fork. The dam is also notable for its design, utilizing a mostly underground conduit to carry water from the reservoir via a tributary to the Power House 0.75 miles (1.21 km) downstream from the dam. The dam and its tailwaters are surrounded by Rock Island State Park.

The bridge was first built in 1925. The first time I ever saw it was in 2004. It was still open then but closed soon afterward. It was the first wood surface bridge I ever drove over, and boy was I nervous! At the time, the bridge was also one way, but I'm not sure if it was always like that. Today, the dam and bridge are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 1994, this dam and bridge was a filming location for the movie "The Specialist" starring Sylvester Stallone and James Woods. It is featured prominently in the opening scene of the movie as the their two characters are supposed to blow up the bridge while a Colombian drug lord is driving over it.I guess the movie producers felt it looked like something from a third world nation! Someone has uploaded this segment of the film to youtube in case you're interested, but keep in mind it's from an R-Rated movie.

Great Falls Dam Bridge - Rock Island, TN

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