Memphis’ Big River Crossing
One of Memphis’ most popular attractions for visitors and residents alike is the pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi River. Named the Big River Crossing, it opened October 22, 2016 and is the longest public pedestrian bridge across the river. At nearly a mile in length, it is also the country’s longest active combination rail, bicycle, and pedestrian bridge.
Pedestrians can walk, bicyclists can ride, and skate boarders can do their thing from Tennessee to Arkansas across the Mississippi River on the Big River Crossing. The walkway is attached to the near side facing downtown Memphis of the still in use 1916 railroad bridge called the Harahan, which has an interesting history.
There are four bridges across the Mississippi River at Memphis. The Frisco Bridge was built in 1895 for the railroad. The Harahan Bridge was originally a railroad bridge, but added two automobile lanes on either side of the rail tracks in 1917. Wooden planks were added atop metal girders on each side of the bridge. The planks carried single file traffic in each direction.
In 1949 the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge opened and still carries Interstate 55 across the big river. Then the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, or the Big M because of its shape, opened in 1973, and is utilized by I-40.
Users of the Big River Crossing can watch barges and riverboats navigate under the bridge and get great views of the Memphis skyline.
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Keywords: bridge, harahan, harahan bridge, memphis, mississippi, mississippi river, pedestrian, pedestrian bridge, river, tennessee
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