Main to Main Multi-Modal Connector Project Moves Forward with $28.6M Harahan Bridge Renovation

A long-awaited renovation project started this Monday as a construction crew began work on the Harahan Bridge. The $28.6 million renovation of the bridge is part of the Main to Main Multi-Modal Connector Project, which also includes extensive work in Memphis and West Memphis.

The Harahan Bridge

A long-awaited renovation project started this Monday when a construction crew began work on the Harahan Bridge. The $28.6 million renovation of the bridge is part of the Main to Main Multi-Modal Connector Project, which also includes extensive work in Memphis and West Memphis.

The Main to Main Project, which received $15 million in federal funds through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant (TIGER IV) as well as through public and private donations, entails streetscape, lighting, sidewalk, roadway and drainage work along Main Street, but also the conversion of the iconic Harahan Bridge into a bicycle and pedestrian bridge.

The pedestrian bridge dubbed Big River Crossing was envisioned by the proponents as a centerpiece that will connect Downtown Memphis to West Memphis, Ark. According to project details, it will increase accessibility for residents and workers and will help reduce air pollution and flood damage costs.

The project is the result of the collaboration between the City of Memphis, Shelby County, West Memphis, the State of Tennessee, the Federal government and numerous other partners. The initial cost estimate was $30 million dollars, but it was later changed to $38 million.

“The increased cost estimate is primarily the result of having to replace steel stringers on the Harahan Bridge, as well as the specialized mesh fence required by the railroad and the required redesign of the Arkansas trail. This is a difference of $7,560,801. Let me stress this is a cost estimate only. Bids on the project and value engineering by our team could reduce this estimate,” said Memphis Mayor Wharton in a letter addressed to the Memphis City Council in August 2013.

Image Courtesy of User C Hanchey, via Flickr