Big River Crossing
The Big River Crossing now connects West Memphis, Ark., to downtown Memphis. A major focus of the Big River Crossing is the “big river” itself, which visitors view from the nearly one-mile walkway built alongside the historic Harahan Bridge, one of the river’s former roadways. Opened in 1916, the Harahan Bridge connected West Memphis and Memphis and was used for over 30 years. The structure features two railways and two roadways built off the side of the main bridge structure. The bridge was used for vehicle traffic until 1949, when the nearby Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge (or now known by locals as “The Old Bridge”) was opened.
The Big River Crossing has the distinction of not only being the longest public pedestrian bridge across the “Father of Waters,” it is also the country’s longest active rail/bicycle/pedestrian bridge. The unparalleled views of the mighty Mississippi from the walkway are unlike most that visitors have seen before.
When fully completed, the Arkansas side of the Big River Crossing will also boast the Delta Regional River Park, complete with biking and walking paths, wayside exhibits and a focus on the ecology and natural beauty of the area.
In conjunction with the opening of the Big River Crossing, for the first time in history, the St. Francis Levee board approved unanimously to open the Mississippi River levee from West Memphis to near Marianna to bicyclists and pedestrians, allowing creation of the Big River Trail. Future plans include connecting the Big River Trail to the Delta Heritage Trail State Park near Helena-West Helena.