The Tennessee Valley Authority has opened a new recreation area with a fishing pier on the west bank of the Tennessee River below Kentucky Dam.
As part of the Kentucky Lock Addition project, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a fishing pier and a parking area along this newly opened section of riverbank, which was closed by TVA when initial construction of the lock began in 1999. The new 110-by-1,200-foot navigation lock is next to the existing lock.
The concrete fishing pier extends about 115 feet into the river and is similar to the fishing pier across the river on Powerhouse Island that opened last fall. Both piers and parking areas provide universal access, and good fishing for white bass, catfish and sunfish. Access to the west bank fishing pier is on Highway 453 near the entrance to the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park Campground.
In addition to the two fishing piers, visitors can take advantage of another major recreational feature that opened last fall – a bicycle and pedestrian path across the top of Kentucky Dam. This path connects Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park to the Powerhouse Island. Future plans call for the path to connect to the Livingston County trail system from a dedicated bike and pedestrian bridge over the existing and proposed navigation locks. However, funding constraints on the Kentucky Lock Addition project will likely delay these improvements by as much as a decade.
When construction begins on a downstream cofferdam, TVA may have to temporarily close the west bank area for construction activities. However, any temporary closure at this location is at least two years away.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.