Big River Crossing is your next, most-favorite place in Memphis.
It's almost hard to believe that construction on the mile-long bike and pedestrian pathway across the Mississippi River began nearly two years ago in November 2014. But now the span is mostly complete and will open to the public on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The BRX (yes, that's the official acronym for it, according to project officials) span alone cost more than $17.5 million. But it is only one part of the larger, $43 million Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector project, a 10-mile project linking downtown Memphis with downtown West Memphis, Arkansas, with more walkable and bike-able streets, pathways, and trails.
BRX it ain't no museum piece. Walking it is a journey in the elements. You feel the steady breeze on your face, see the river flowing silently many stories below your feet, and feel the vibrations of the car and train traffic passing on the nearby bridges.
A lookout is notched out about halfway across the span (it's disputed whether or not this is the Tennessee/Arkansas border) — the Memphis skyline on one side and the endless, green Arkansas floodplain on the other. At best, it'll inspire an awe of our area's natural beauty and geography. At least, it'll be the most selfied spot in Shelby County.
The BRX will open as two other events — River Arts Festival and the St. Jude Ride — are underway nearby. So, parking could get hairy. The Memphis Area Transit Authority will run a special trolley up and down Main Street from the site all the way to Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid.
A celebration at Martyrs Park will begin at 4 p.m. with food trucks and live music. A fireworks show will begin at 7 p.m.