In Suspense

TVA completes some high-flying work on a historic suspension bridge anchored on the Ocoee Dam No. 2 and the mountain across US Hwy. 64 at the Rogers Branch site.

TVA recently completed a project to refurbish the historical Ocoee cable suspension walk bridge located at the Rogers Branch boat recreation site near Ocoee Dam No. 2.

The bridge, which spans about 370 feet immediately above the dam, has been in service since the dam was built in 1913 and provides employees worker safe access to the sluiceway and flume intake structures. It is suspended from a trussed structure at the north end of the dam and the wall at the sluiceway. The main suspension cables at the north end pass over US Highway 64, and are then anchored into the mountainside along the roadway.

The work is part of the bridge’s regular inspection and maintenance schedule and includes cleaning, lubricating, applying protective coating and painting the cables supporting the bridge, replacing walk boards and stringers, and refurbishing anchorage blocks lodged into the side of the mountain. The schedule includes daily and bi-annual inspections as well as refurbishment of the cables, wooden walk boards and other components every 10 years or as needed.

The project presented many challenges, especially on the highway side of the bridge, says John Duncan, TVA Facilities senior manager. Parts of the bridge were difficult to access, and communication and coordination was required between several groups involved in the project.  The work also necessitated lane closures on US 64, as workers performed critical procedures overhead while suspended from cranes high on the mountainside.

Hard Work? No Problem

Despite the conditions, the work was performed safely with no injuries or traffic incidents and completed ahead of schedule, Duncan says: “Working near the road and on the mountainside complicated this bridge work, and we are proud to have accomplished it safely and effectively with minimal traffic impacts. We thank all our partners for their support, teamwork, and collaboration.”

TVA’s Facilities Management, TVA Police and Hydro Generation teams partnered with the Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee State Parks to successfully complete the project, 

The Ocoee River is one of the most popular whitewater recreation destinations in the world. The suspension bridge is seen by thousands of visitors each year who come to the Rogers Branch site to access the river for rafting.

Click here for a street view of the suspension bridge.

Ocoee Dam No. 2, located in Polk County, Tenn., is the second in a series of three TVA dams on the Ocoee River which form an integral part of TVA’s hydroelectric system and provide important recreation benefits.

The Ocoee No. 2 powerhouse is located nearly five miles downstream from the dam. At the dam, water from the river is diverted into a flume, a wooden trough supported on a bench carved out of the mountainside. The flume carries the water to a point where it is discharged through pipes to the powerhouse more than 250 feet below. This system allows the amount of power generated by the 30-foot-high dam to equal that of a 250-foot-high dam.

Constructed in 1912 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the flume is undergoing repairs after being damaged by a rock slide in November. Those repairs are scheduled to be completed and the flume returned to service in May 2018.

For more information on Ocoee Dam No. 2, click here.