TVA Conducting Routine Bridge Inspection at Chickamauga Dam

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- If you travel over the Chickamauga Dam on Highway 153, be ready for some delays the next two days.

TVA is conducting a routine bridge inspection of the Thrasher Bridge that goes over the dam to ensure its structural integrity. To conduct this inspection, there will be some temporary lane closures in one direction at a time.

For today, Tuesday, September 27, one lane of the northbound lanes of Highway 153 are closed. Tomorrow, September 28, one lane of the southbound lanes will be closed.

These closures are taking place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.

News 12 observed that today’s lane closure was causing backups to before the Amnicola Highway exit on the northbound lanes. TVA Police are out to help direct traffic.

TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler said the minor inconvenience of the traffic backups is necessary in the interest of public safety. He emphasized that, “At TVA we believe in maintaining our equipment and bridges to the highest standard because we owe it to the public. I drive over it, you drive over it, our families do. We want to maintain this bridge to the highest level because we owe it to everybody.”

This routine inspection is conducted once every two years. Inspectors after the conclusion of their work rate the bridge in one of three categories.

Fiedler explained the process by saying that inspectors, “Look at it from top to bottom. They go from end to end. From the road deck underneath to the steel, looking at all of the girders underneath. Two years ago when it was inspected, it had a good rating, which is highest of the three ranking scales; from good, fair, or poor.”

In addition to the bridge inspections at the Chickamauga Dam, TVA conducts routine inspections on 45 bridges across our region.

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