Memphis Highways

Memphis Bridges

Not much separating traffic from straying pedestrians here on the southside of the I-55 Mississippi bridge in Memphis. I guess one could try to walk along the southside of the bridge if the girders don't get in your way.

One of the supports for the I-55 bridge. Built in 1949, it was originally named E. H. Crump Bridge (to go along with Crump Blvd. east of I-55), but more commonly referred to as the Memphis-Arkansas bridge. It did get mentioned in the Chuck Berry song, "Memphis, Tennessee."
(last fact stolen from the book Blues Traveling)

Along with the highway traffic on the left, there are the 1892 Frisco Bridge and the 1917 Harahan bridges for railroads to cross the Mississippi River next to I-55 (All 3 photos above were taken in May, 2003)

The Hernando de Soto Bridge. Built in 1972 it carries I-40 across the Mississippi River. Does it remind you of any part of the alphabet?
(Photo taken in June, 1999)

Sam Cooper Blvd.

I-40 was originally intended to run through Memphis's eastside, roughly following Summer Ave/North Parkway, but it would have gone straight through the Memphis Zoo and a middle class black neighborhood (Overton Park). The would be freeway eventully was extend to (and ended at) the eastside of Overton Park short of it's intended target. Since 2000, the City of Memphis has made a consious effort to clear the physical scars of Sam Cooper's intended path from the landscape.
In this photo, from June, 1999, a (then) recently refinished overhead sign gantry intones to the travelers that I-40 was going to be here (the next city west of Memphis for I-40 is Little Rock, just like that sign on the left) (BTW, as of June, 2005 the above sign was still in use)

Would be ramps for I-40 to continue east from I-240 near Downtown Memphis (Photos taken in Sept. 2001) (Now no more)

A trail blazer for the Mississippi Riding Trail along the Memphis Riverfront. The bicycle equivalent to the Great River Road, following the Mississippi River from Louisiana to Minnesota. (Photo taken in Sept. 2001)

Main St, north of Beale St, becomes a pedestrian mall and streetcar path. Nothing blues related along this way however. (Photo from Sept. 2001)

Companion pages

Beale St in the Daylight

Other Memphis Blues photos

Memphis Freeways - By Michael Adams. The past, current, and Future alignments of Highways in Memphis.

City of Memphis and Shelby County Division of planning and development

Page created on January 14, 2004/ Last updated on July 4, 2006

Questions, comments, and submissions can be sent to Sandor Gulyas

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