Bald River Falls construction update

Release Date: Jul 20, 2023

Contact(s): Andrea Baquerizo, Public Affairs Specialist, (423) 715-2461

Rendering for Bald River Falls Bridge replacementCLEVELAND, Tenn., July 20, 2023 — Staff at the Cherokee National Forest plan to close a portion of Tellico River Road (NFSR 210) for the replacement of Bald River Falls Bridge on the Tellico Ranger District beginning August 21. Traffic will be rerouted around the closure until bridge work is completed.

Constructed in 1933, Bald River Falls Bridge is deteriorating and doesn’t meet the demands of pedestrian safety and modern vehicular traffic.

Forest Service crews are now completing improvements to the detour route that will direct traffic to Turkey Creek Shortcut (NFSR 35), Cherohala Skyway and North River Road (NRSR 217). Repair work on Turkey Creek Shortcut (NFSR 35) is still ongoing and is scheduled to reopen mid-August. When construction work begins on the bridge, Tellico River Road will only remain open to points below and above the bridge at Bald River Falls. The closure will only proceed after the detour route improvements are complete.  The bridge and the area adjacent to it will be closed to foot and vehicular traffic. Signs with project information and detour routes will be displayed around the project area.

North River Road (NFSR 217) will remain accessible through the Cherohala Skyway. Turkey Creek Shortcut will be a detour route. Detour routes will have size restrictions. Vehicles longer than 40-feet combined (vehicle or vehicle and trailer) are not allowed on the detour.

The project will improve structural stability, pedestrian safety, and create enhanced recreation experiences. In addition to two vehicle traffic lanes, the new bridge will offer separation of pedestrian traffic with an observation deck allowing pedestrians to safely use the bridge and view the falls.

Replacement of the bridge is expected to be completed by Fall 2024.

For additional information please contact Andrea Baquerizo, Public Affairs Specialist, at (423) 715-2461, or  

Bald River Falls Bridge Info and Sign Poster


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