The country's longest bike-pedestrian land bridge will soon stretch across the Mississippi River.
Big River Crossing, about 1-mile long, will serve as a neighbor to the 100-year-old Harahan Bridge. It will open October 22 — the centerpiece of the Main Street to Main Street project, a 10-mile effort to connect the city to West Memphis, Arkansas.
"I'm looking forward to the grand opening of the Harahan Bridge's Big River Crossing in October," said Congressman Steve Cohen. "The federal funds secured from the highly competitive TIGER grant will help improve livability in downtown Memphis, increase tourism to the city, drive economic development and create jobs, and enable people to bike and walk over the historic, scenic Mississippi River. This kind of infrastructure in the heart of Memphis will help our city attract more people looking to make Memphis home."
Constructing Harahan Bridge required 21,400 tons of steel fastened together with thousands of rivets, according to Harry Pratt, the president of Allen & Hoshall, who oversaw the development, engineering and construction of Big River Crossing.
Anonymous donors will fund the installation and maintenance of the Crossing's LED system. Stakeholders will cut the ribbon at October 22's opening ceremony. The gates will open at 1 p.m. Tom Lee Park and Delta Regional River Park will host food trucks and music at an all-day event that will end with a light show and fireworks at dusk.
"What better way to launch this incredible city asset than by supporting and partnering with other notable Downtown events," said Mayor Jim Strickland. "It's been a great team effort across all fronts."