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Environmental Division

Natural Resources Office, Ecology Section

James K. Polk Building, Suite 400
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0333
Phone: 615.253.2472
Fax: 615.741.1098
Dr. Deedee Kathman, Supervisor

Statewide Projects

Park and Float
In 2010, TDOT opened Park and Float sites on four middle Tennessee rivers.  Park and Float is a cooperative effort between TDOT and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) that seeks to provide access to Tennessee streams and rivers at bridge crossings on state highways.  Through this initiative, public use areas for fishing and paddling will be established, which will increase recreational use of these assets for Tennesseans.  Water activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and stream fishing are among the fastest growing segments of recreational boating in Tennessee and an estimated 200,000 anglers will also benefit.

The Park and Float program has a number of partners ,including the Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, Tennessee State Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,  Stones River Watershed Association, and TWRA.

Park and Float Sites:

  • Cannon County:  SR-1, Bridge over E. Fork Stones River @ LM 5.28, near Woodbury
  • Cheatham County: SR-249, Bridge over Harpeth River @ LM 2.6, near Pegram
  • Perry County: SR-20, Bridge over Buffalo River @ LM 12.61, in Linden
  • Bledsoe County: SR-30, Bridge over Sequatchie River @ LM 10.4, in Pikeville

A new Park and Float area is near completion at the site of the new State Route 9 Bridge over the French Broad River in Cocke County.  Seven other Park and Float sites are currently under development.

Ongoing Construction Sites Research
TDOT and United States Geological Survey (USGS) are working together to provide safe, efficient, and modern road networks while preserving the health and beauty of Tennessee’s streams.  Research to identify best practices to make road construction more effective and environmentally sound by reducing erosion at construction sites and keeping excess sediment from polluting nearby streams.  There are four areas of focus:

  • How does road construction affect sediment and turbidity in streams?
  • What Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) systems most effectively protect streams and aquatic resources?
  • What is an appropriate approach for evaluating EPSC effectiveness?
  • How does road construction affect stream habitat and biota? 

Major activities include monitoring streamflow, turbidity, and sediment at approximately 20 sites in middle Tennessee and monitoring ecoregion sites throughout Tennessee for comparisons; examining the processes that produce, move, and deposit sediments associated with construction sites and nearby streams; and repeat sampling of biota (fish and invertebrates) in high quality streams that drain construction projects.

Local Projects

Marion County, Tennessee
TDOT is working with the Tennessee Valley Authority and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to improve water quality, recreational activities, and aesthetics at Marion County Park This is part of a mitigation plan due to loss of some Nickajack Lake acreage which will be filled to accommodate a new bridge.  Marion County Park accommodates camping, boating and fishing activities, as well as having a playground, game fields, picnic tables and other outdoor activities.

Three enhancement programs include:

  • Filling potholes, re-paving, striping the area for traffic flow and boat trailer parking, and contouring the slopes and installing erosion prevention controls for the boat launching area
  • Attaching an additional platform to the existing floating walkway and dock, substantially extending the docking capabilities
  • Stabilizing approximately 1,700 feet of shoreline, providing access paths to the lake, planting native shoreline vegetation and posting educational signs.

Warren County, Tennessee
TDOT demonstrated its continued commitment to preserve and protect Tennessee’s natural resources by implementing natural channel stream design on Willow Branch as part of its SR 1 (US 70S) improvement project in late 2009.  TDOT showed that it is economically feasible to implement sustainable solutions within our roadway development.  Natural Channel Stream Design can be a key element in improving water quality conditions downstream, restoring and enhancing local ecosystems, and enhancing habitat for aquatic life.  Not only did TDOT make a positive effect on the local ecosystem, but also showed that it is possible to increase the value of property adjacent to roadway development.  TDOT received the ACEC 2010 Engineering Excellence Honor Award for this project.