The Great Depression-era Burnt Mill Bridge has fallen into a serious — and, Big South Fork NRRA officials say, dangerous — state of disrepair. (Ben Garrett/IH)

ROBBINS — When the old Burnt Mill Bridge over Clear Fork River was replaced by a modern, concrete bridge just downstream in 2005, the steel structure was left standing for its historical and nostalgic connotations. Thirteen years later, it is looking increasingly as if the old bridge might be on borrowed time, however, after falling into a serious state of disrepair.

Behind the scenes, the fate of the old bridge has been questioned for months. But the debate took on a more visible role last week, when Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area Superintendent Stephanie S. Nicholas addressed her safety concerns about the old bridge to Scott County Mayor Dale Perdue.

In a letter dated Feb. 28, obtained by the Independent Herald upon request, Nicholas called the old bridge “an attractive nuisance,” and said the park is “very concerned” about the safety of visitors who use the Burnt Mill Bridge area.

To continue reading, please subscribe to the Independent Herald. If you are already a subscriber, email with the name and address to which your newspaper is mailed to receive login credentials. If you are a subscriber who is logged in and believe you are seeing this message in error, please email or call 423-569-6343.

The complete story can be found in the March 8, 2018 print edition of the Independent Herald.