The Blount County Commission Monday approved the date of a dedication ceremony celebrating the re-opening of Easley and Swann Covered Bridges. The time is Monday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. at Swann Bridge. Many of those who have had a stake in the preservation of the historic structures will be present. Others wishing to attend must approach the bridge from the Austin Creek (Nectar) side of the river, since the bridge entrance on the Cleveland side of the river will be closed until after the ceremony. Renovation work on Horton Mill Covered Bridge is not yet complete, although it is expected to be reopened soon, as well.
Two of the bridges – Swann and Easley – have been closed for repairs since June of 2009, when then-county engineer Richard Spraggins recommended closing them in the interests of public safety due to their failing to meet load requirements of three tons. Horton Mill has been closed for several months longer for the same reason and also because of extensive damage by vandals.