The Holston River flows from southwestern Virginia by way of Kingsport. About 15 miles upstream by land (and much longer via the meandering river) is Cherokee Dam and Cherokee Lake. The current steel bridge over the Holston was built in 1949 to replace an 1895 steel bridge that had corroded to a point that it was declared unsafe. John Sevier Scenic Highway Bridge over French Broad is east of this bridge.
In crossing the bridge, you leave Knoxville city limits and enter the Forks of the River area, the broad peninsula where the Holston and French Broad come together to form the Tennessee. In the late 19th century, this area was known for a multitude of marble quarries: Monday's, Stephenson's, Kreis's. Today, a large part of the Forks area is still industrial, with perhaps Knox County's largest concentration of factories and warehouses.