5:51 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Harahan Bridge

For a time after the bridge opened, automobiles were still ferried across the river. In 1917, wooden planks were installed on each side of the bridge and placed atop metal girders. The planks carried single file traffic in each direction. Bridge guards were employed to walk the wooden planks 24 hours a d ay until 1960, when a fire alarm system was installed.

A celebration was planned for September 1917, when the bridge first opened to cars, but the celebration was canceled, because many people felt it was unpatriotic to celebrate while Memphians were fighting in World War I.

The bridge remained a single-lane highway until 1949, when the Memphis and Arkansas Bridge was completed. Although it is now closed to cars, the Harahan Bridge is still a presence on the riverfront.

To learn more about the cultural and natural history of Memphis, please visit the Pink Palace family of Museums, their Facebook page, or