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Mississippi River Bridges

Memphis has four bridges that span the Mighty Mississippi, one over a hundred years old!

Frisco Bridge

Frisco Bridge under construction on November 12, 1891 Photo credit Bill Strong

Ticket to the Frisco Bridge Grand Opening Celebration Photo credit Bill Pollard

Aug 2, 1992 - The 100th Anniversary of the Frisco Bridge. Memphis didn't notice. Photo credit Mike Condren

Harahan Bridge

The Harahan Bridge opened in 1916. Photo credit Bill Pollard

The Harahan dedication plate - 5/83. Photo credit Mike Condren

Harahan carried trains and cars, this roadway now abandoned Photo credit J. Parker Lamb Photo

Harahan burned on Sept 17, 1928 creating one of Memphis's biggest fires. Credit Bill Pollard


The Memphis Fire Museum lists this fire as among the biggest... Memphis Fire Museum On Harahan Fire

Memphis-Arkansas Bridge

Built in 1949, the Memphis-Arkansas bridge (known locally as the old bridge) was the first crossing at Memphis designed strictly for vehicles. Today it carries I-55 across the river while the Hernando-Desoto bridge (known locally as the new bridge) carries I-240 across a few miles upstream.

Photos provided by the Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department

Memphis-Arkansas bridge

Memphis-Arkansas bridge

Memphis-Arkansas bridge

Memphis-Arkansas bridge

Hernando-Desoto Bridge

Built in 1973, the "new" bridge as it is still locally known is the main and busiest bridge at Memphis.

Hernando-Desoto bridge

Hernando-Desoto bridge

Hernando-Desoto bridge

Hernando-Desoto bridge

The Hernando-Desoto bridge was a potential terrorist target in the days after 9/11:

The Interstate 40 Hernando De Soto Bridge in Memphis was also an apparent surveillance target for the Israelis. According to the Arkansas State Police, a few days after 911, the FBI and Memphis police were alerted to two Israelis (officially reported to be of "Middle Eastern" appearance) taking photographs of the De Soto span and the older Interstate 55 Bridge. The Israelis were particularly interested in the undersides of the bridges. They had seven cameras of different sizes and makes. Upon being detained by the FBI, the men claimed to have diplomatic immunity and one produced a diplomatic passport. After the Israelis were turned over to the INS, the FBI dropped any further investigation.[88]

Portland Independant Media Center


Much of the historical information on the railroad bridges shown here is but a small sample of the information and detailed history available at the Memphis Railroad Bridges Site. If you are into trains or all things train related, check them out. It's an amazing resource.

Memphis Railroad Bridges

The Hernando-Desoto Bridge in 2000

'- Photo:U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library-'