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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Postcard Tuesday: Three Bridges in Memphis

Aerial View of the New Memphis and Arkansas Bridge, and Memphis and Harahan Bridges Spanning Mississippi River, Memphis, Tenn.

If you are a fan of old bridges, this spot in Memphis has three side-by-side, all still in use. I would assume this is the narrowest spot of the river near Memphis since all three were built at the same spot.

The oldest one is the one in the middle. At the time it was called the Memphis Bridge but today is called the Frisco Bridge. When built in 1892, this was the most southerly bridge over the Mississippi River as it carried railroad traffic.

Next was the bridge on the left from this view which was the Harahan Bridge. It was completed in 1916 and carried two railroad tracks and had a deck for cars. Vehicle traffic on this bridge became obsolete with the building of the final bridge. The vehicle ramps are still around on the Arkansas side, and there are ways of getting to them if you know what you're doing. In the mean time, this bridge made the news a couple of months ago as a federal grant will turn the abandoned roadway into a pedestrian bridge. Read more about that here: http://harahanbridgeproject.com/

The final bridge, the white one on the right is the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge. When it was completed in 1949, it carried multiple U.S. Highways (61, 64, 70 and 79). Soon after, it also carried Interstate 55. For over three decades it was the only place to drive over the river until the modern looking Hernando de Soto bridge was built for Interstate 40. (A few months ago, there was some concern over the de Soto Bridge as one of the piers shifted. Traffic was closed on that bridge for a couple of days and was rerouted to the older but steadier bridge.) since this post card calls this bridge "new" the card must have been made soon after 1949.

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