Memphis – Harahan Bridge

This was one of my pointless expeditions, crossing the Harahan Bridge over to the other side of the Mississippi River. It made for a nice walk though, but the main purpose of this little adventure was so that I could cross into Arkansas. I’ll hopefully visit the state a little more comprehensively in the future, but I can at least claim that I have visited Arkansas. Well, the bit of their territory over the river and a car park and I’m sure there are better bits.

The bridge was constructed for rail transport, although after some controversy there were also some roadways constructed on the side. The rail bridge opened in 1916, with the road sections opening in the following year. A new road bridge was built in 1949 making the roadways redundant, so a few years ago there was a decision to make this a pedestrian and cycling crossing which is known as the Big River Crossing.

The entrance to the bridge, which is quite tightly secured which I assume is to keep people off the rail section. At night the bridge is illuminated and there are also extensive walking and cycling trails for those who want to explore the area more thoroughly.

Walking along the route and its subtle fencing.

I like that this gives the impression that I’d climbed over to take this photo, but since I’m scared of heights and tend to follow rules, I’m not sure that anyone would believe that. In reality, it’s a section that juts out a bit.

And there we go, crossing the state line and I can say that I’ve been to Arkansas.

The view back down the river of downtown Memphis.

It was hard not to feel a bit hemmed in…. But, it’s a magnificent project to let people walk across the bridge and the Big River Crossing only opened in 2016, with my visit being in January 2018.

A freight train going by.

Part of the bridge which is no longer used. The pedestrian and cycling part of the bridge is free of charge to cross and it’s open from dawn until 22.00 every day of the week.

And for anyone interested, a Youtube video of the crossing’s history.