Harahan Bridge

Memphis, TN

35.129167,-90.075833

www.harahanbridge.com

bridgehunter.com

This narrow point on the Mississippi River near Memphis, TN features three lovely crossings: The Frisco Bridge (1892), the Harahan Bridge (1916), and the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge (1949).

The Harahan Bridge is a cantilevered through truss bridge constructed by the Arkansas & Memphis Railway Bridge & Terminal Company under the supervision of famed consulting engineer Ralph Modjeski. Its total length of 4,973 feet includes an asymmetric collection of cantilevered, suspended, semi-suspended, and deck truss spans - the longest of which is the western-most span of 791 feet. It was originally named the Rock Island Bridge, but was subsequently renamed for Memphis businessman J.T. Harahan, who was president of the firm that built the bridge and who was killed in a 1912 train wreck.

A distinctive feature of some early-20th-century Mississippi river crossings is the addition of two single-lane motor vehicle roadways along the sides of the bridge. The wooden-planked roads were apparently a terrifying travel experience and they were prone to fires started by sparks from passing locomotives. The Harahan was the primary vehicular bridge in this area until the neighboring Memphis-Arkansas bridge opened in 1949. As of this writing in 2011, there are plans to recover the roadway as a recreational pedestrian trail.

In contrast to the largely rebuilt Eastern roadway approach, the remnants of the Western roadway approach are fairly readily accessible (albeit overgrown) from exit #1 down Dacus Lake Road (the local road signs call it Eddie Garey Road).

I had noticed the remnants of the abandoned roadways numerous times when passing through Memphis on I-55, but had never had the time to explore further.

In the summer of 2011 I had the time...

Harahan Bridge - View from the north
08/20/2011 07:47:42
View from the north
Harahan Bridge - View from the north
08/20/2011 07:48:02
View from the north
Harahan Bridge - Eastern abutment
08/20/2011 07:56:50
Eastern abutment
Harahan Bridge - Eastern abutment
08/20/2011 07:56:58
Eastern abutment
Harahan Bridge - Eastern abutment
08/20/2011 07:57:06
Eastern abutment
Harahan Bridge - Dedication plaque
08/20/2011 07:57:22
Dedication plaque
Harahan Bridge - 2nd Dedication plaque
08/20/2011 07:57:34
2nd Dedication plaque
Harahan Bridge - Pier #4
08/20/2011 07:59:36
Pier #4
Harahan Bridge - Under the northern roadway on the East bank
08/20/2011 08:00:10
Under the northern roadway on the East bank
Harahan Bridge - Pier #4
08/20/2011 08:00:32
Pier #4
Harahan Bridge - Looking south at the Frisco and Memphis-Arkansas bridges
08/20/2011 08:00:38
Looking south at the Frisco and Memphis-Arkansas bridges
Harahan Bridge - Under the northern roadway on the East bank
08/20/2011 08:00:48
Under the northern roadway on the East bank
Harahan Bridge - Under the northern roadway on the East bank
08/20/2011 08:00:52
Under the northern roadway on the East bank
Harahan Bridge - View from the Eastern shore at piers #1 - #3
08/20/2011 08:02:06
View from the Eastern shore at piers #1 - #3
Harahan Bridge - View from the Eastern shore
08/20/2011 08:03:38
View from the Eastern shore
Harahan Bridge
08/20/2011 08:02:26
Harahan Bridge - First Unitarian Church
08/20/2011 08:04:18
First Unitarian Church
Harahan Bridge - Eastern abutment over the Church
08/20/2011 08:04:56
Eastern abutment over the Church
Harahan Bridge - First Unitarian Church
08/20/2011 08:05:24
First Unitarian Church
Harahan Bridge - Eastern abutment over the Church
08/20/2011 08:05:34
Eastern abutment over the Church
Harahan Bridge - Underpass under East approach
08/20/2011 08:07:36
Underpass under East approach
Harahan Bridge - Three bridges viewed from the southeast on I-55
08/20/2011 08:08:40
Three bridges viewed from the southeast on I-55
Harahan Bridge - Abandoned hotel on the Eastern shore
08/20/2011 08:14:06
Abandoned hotel on the Eastern shore
Harahan Bridge - Active hotel on the Eastern shore south of the Bridge
08/20/2011 08:14:26
Active hotel on the Eastern shore south of the Bridge
Harahan Bridge - Memphis-Arkansas Bridge
08/20/2011 08:13:10
Memphis-Arkansas Bridge
Harahan Bridge - Memphis-Arkansas Bridge sign on Western shore
08/20/2011 08:18:40
Memphis-Arkansas Bridge sign on Western shore
Harahan Bridge - Dacus Lake Road
08/20/2011 08:25:12
Dacus Lake Road
Harahan Bridge - Abandoned western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:19:06
Abandoned western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:19:30
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Train crossing the Frisco Bridge
08/20/2011 08:19:46
Train crossing the Frisco Bridge
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:19:52
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:20:16
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:26:00
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:26:12
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Approach interface with southern deck
08/20/2011 08:26:32
Approach interface with southern deck
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway deck
08/20/2011 08:26:44
Southern roadway deck
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway deck
08/20/2011 08:26:48
Southern roadway deck
Harahan Bridge - Roadway deck and Frisco Bridge viewed from the North
08/20/2011 08:27:44
Roadway deck and Frisco Bridge viewed from the North
Harahan Bridge - Northern roadway deck over Dacus Lake Road
08/20/2011 08:27:56
Northern roadway deck over Dacus Lake Road
Harahan Bridge - Frisco bridge headed East
08/20/2011 08:28:50
Frisco bridge headed East
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway deck
08/20/2011 08:29:22
Southern roadway deck
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway deck headed east up the bridge
08/20/2011 08:29:32
Southern roadway deck headed east up the bridge
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway deck headed east up the bridge
08/20/2011 08:29:44
Southern roadway deck headed east up the bridge
Harahan Bridge - Cross trusses
08/20/2011 08:30:22
Cross trusses
Harahan Bridge - Under the southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:30:04
Under the southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Under the southern roadway deck
08/20/2011 08:30:32
Under the southern roadway deck
Harahan Bridge - Northern roadway deck headed East
08/20/2011 08:30:58
Northern roadway deck headed East
Harahan Bridge - Northern roadway deck
08/20/2011 08:31:12
Northern roadway deck
Harahan Bridge - Frisco bridge crossing the Western approach
08/20/2011 08:31:32
Frisco bridge crossing the Western approach
Harahan Bridge - No dumping
08/20/2011 08:32:54
No dumping
Harahan Bridge - Service road up to approach
08/20/2011 08:33:58
Service road up to approach
Harahan Bridge - Gate to approach
08/20/2011 08:34:34
Gate to approach
Harahan Bridge - West abutment of the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge
08/20/2011 08:34:52
West abutment of the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge
Harahan Bridge - West approach
08/20/2011 08:34:58
West approach
Harahan Bridge - Looking East from the West approach
08/20/2011 08:36:44
Looking East from the West approach
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway headed East
08/20/2011 08:36:50
Southern roadway headed East
Harahan Bridge - Remnants of wooden plank deck
08/20/2011 08:37:16
Remnants of wooden plank deck
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway headed East
08/20/2011 08:37:26
Southern roadway headed East
Harahan Bridge - Railing on Northern roadway
08/20/2011 08:37:34
Railing on Northern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway headed East
08/20/2011 08:37:42
Southern roadway headed East
Harahan Bridge - Western approach deck under the Frisco Bridge
08/20/2011 08:37:50
Western approach deck under the Frisco Bridge
Harahan Bridge - Western approach railing
08/20/2011 08:38:00
Western approach railing
Harahan Bridge - Staged maintenance materials
08/20/2011 08:38:10
Staged maintenance materials
Harahan Bridge - Frisco Bridge West abutment
08/20/2011 08:38:14
Frisco Bridge West abutment
Harahan Bridge - 1930 - reconstructed abutment?
08/20/2011 08:38:22
1930 - reconstructed abutment?
Harahan Bridge - Western approach railing - who is drying their mat?
08/20/2011 08:38:36
Western approach railing - who is drying their mat?
Harahan Bridge - Frisco Bridge West abutment
08/20/2011 08:38:48
Frisco Bridge West abutment
Harahan Bridge - Frisco Bridge headed East
08/20/2011 08:39:02
Frisco Bridge headed East
Harahan Bridge - Sest approach looking south
08/20/2011 08:39:16
Sest approach looking south
Harahan Bridge - Decapitated light post
08/20/2011 08:39:36
Decapitated light post
Harahan Bridge - Western approach railing
08/20/2011 08:39:46
Western approach railing
Harahan Bridge - Western approach railing
08/20/2011 08:39:54
Western approach railing
Harahan Bridge - Western approach
08/20/2011 08:40:08
Western approach
Harahan Bridge - Under the Memphis-Arkansas West approach
08/20/2011 08:40:28
Under the Memphis-Arkansas West approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:41:14
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Under the Memphis-Arkansas West approach
08/20/2011 08:41:28
Under the Memphis-Arkansas West approach
Harahan Bridge - Eddie Garey Road?
08/20/2011 08:41:34
Eddie Garey Road?
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:41:58
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:42:20
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:43:46
Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Under the Western roadway approach - concrete looks amazingly fresh
08/20/2011 08:44:02
Under the Western roadway approach - concrete looks amazingly fresh
Harahan Bridge - Under the Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:44:10
Under the Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Under the Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:44:20
Under the Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Under the Western roadway approach
08/20/2011 08:44:24
Under the Western roadway approach
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway West abutment
08/20/2011 08:44:32
Southern roadway West abutment
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway West abutment
08/20/2011 08:44:56
Southern roadway West abutment
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway West abutment
08/20/2011 08:45:04
Southern roadway West abutment
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:45:26
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:46:18
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:46:34
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:47:02
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:47:18
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Southern roadway
08/20/2011 08:47:26
Southern roadway
Harahan Bridge - Memphis-Arkansas Bridge headed back to Tennessee
08/20/2011 08:51:18
Memphis-Arkansas Bridge headed back to Tennessee
Harahan Bridge - Memphis-Arkansas Bridge
08/20/2011 08:51:34
Memphis-Arkansas Bridge

His performing voice, even laced with profanity, always sounded as if he were trying to amuse a child. It was like the naughtiest, most fun grown-up you ever met was reading you a bedtime story. (Jerry Seinfeld on George Carlin)