The Dan River Basin Association and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) would like to urge paddlers to use extreme caution when paddling the Smith River between the North Bassett and Fieldale River access points.
Work has begun on the Fieldale Iron Bridge and new obstacles are now in the river that may pose a hazard to paddlers. A work bridge is being installed that will hang 6-8 feet over the river at low water. During high flow, this structure can pose as a strainer. It is advised to portage around the construction zone during generation.
VDOT officials warn that paddlers should be aware of construction materials, such as concrete blocks, in the river that may present hazards. Paddlers are also urged to pay attention to which side of the river that workers are on so that they may pass by on the opposite side for the safety of both the paddler and construction workers.
Signs notifiying paddlers and fishermen of these warnings are presently being posted at nearby river access points. As always, please practice safe paddling techniques on the river and wear a life jacket.