MANCHESTER, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee State Parks officials will hold an open meeting Nov. 6 at 5:30 p.m. to hear public comments on a proposed new bridge for Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park.
The proposed bridge would be for vehicles and pedestrians and would replace a current bridge at the park. The new bridge would allow access to the recreational vehicle campground from the park’s main entrance.
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Coffee Countians have been vocal about their opposition to replacing the current bridge, even creating an active Facebook group to coordinate efforts to save it. Many in the group have attended multiple county meetings related to the bridge over the last few months, petitioning their commissioners to halt potential demolition of the bridge.
At a Sept. 12 Coffee County Commission meeting, the commissioners reportedly unanimously supported keeping the bridge in place.
The Nov. 6 public meeting will be at the Coffee County Administrative Plaza at 1329 McArthur St. in Manchester. Anyone may attend, and comments on the proposal are welcome. The public may also make comments online at this link until Nov. 15.
“We encourage anyone interested to attend the meeting to learn more about the proposed project and provide input,” said Mike Robertson, director of operations for Tennessee State Parks. “We always want to improve visitor experience at the park, and understanding the perspectives of our guests is critical to success.”
Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, on land once used by Native Americans as a ceremonial gathering place, attracts many history enthusiasts, according to Tennessee State Parks. The park features a main hiking trail that follows the wall of Old Stone Fort. Visitors can learn about the park on a hike with 12 interpretive panels. The park also has waterfalls, a museum, and displays of prehistoric Native American replicas.