BY MEAGAN NICHOLS | MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL
Walking across the Mississippi River is about to become reality.
The Harahan Bridge, which opened in 1916 for trains and automobiles, will debut its Big River Crossing – the longest public pedestrian/bike bridge across the Mississippi River – Saturday, Oct. 22.
The nearly one-mile long path is located where the former automobile lane was on the Harahan.
“There is 70 miles of levee trails already [in Arkansas], so you can get off on the Arkansas side and you can ... ride to Marianna, Arkansas,” said Doug Carpenter, principal of DCA, which was responsible for the Big River Crossing branding andwebsite. “You can bike to Horseshoe [Lake]. There are tons of places to get on and off. You could get off here and bike to West Memphis' Main Street …”
After its Oct. 22 grand opening, the bridge will be open from sun-up to 10 p.m., but those hours could be adjusted at a later date.
The grand opening is slated to start in the afternoon, and the celebration will be capped off with a fireworks show.
Big River Crossing was made possible via a public/private partnership. It is part of The Big River Strategic Initiative dedicated to celebrating the Mississippi River.
The Harahan still serves as a Mississippi River crossing for rail traffic.