$1M pledge made to Harahan bridge project - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

$1M pledge made to Harahan bridge project

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Named the Main to Main Project, the plan includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River. Named the Main to Main Project, the plan includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River.
Organizers expect the public walkway over the mighty river to open in either July or August 2014. Organizers expect the public walkway over the mighty river to open in either July or August 2014.
Organizers expect the entire project including the Main Street upgrades to wrap up in late 2015. (Photo Source: Harahan Bridge project) Organizers expect the entire project including the Main Street upgrades to wrap up in late 2015. (Photo Source: Harahan Bridge project)

(WMC-TV) - The $30 million project connecting main streets from Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas holds the potential to change the entire international image of the Bluff City, according to project planners.

Named the Main to Main Project, the plan includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River.

The Plough Foundation made a $1 million pledge to the boardwalk project Thursday. Previous pledges to the to the planned pedestrian and bicycle bridge include more than $1 million from Memphis entrepreneur and cycling promoter Charles McVean and $250,000 from the Hyde Foundation, according to the Commercial Appeal.

Organizers expect the public walkway over the mighty river to open in either July or August 2014.

The bridge's existing roadbeds were used for auto traffic from 1917 to 1949. The City of Memphis and Crittenden County purchased the road beds in 1917. See the photos in this slideshow for more information regarding the bridge's history. Also, the slideshow includes rendered images of what the boardwalk will look like once completed.

"There are very few amenities like that anywhere in the country. There are a few pedestrian bridges that cross rivers, but not one that crosses the Mississippi," said project manager and former Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter explaining the boardwalk.

Carpenter told Action News 5's Andrew Douglas in a video report that the boardwalk will be quite the gem, but the improvements to Main Street will be significant, too.

"We'll have a dedicated ADA compliant path," he said. "We will eliminate a number of drainage problems that occur when we have heavy rain ... Fresh sidewalks, curb and gutter improvements."

The cost to renovate and improve the area totals more than $30 million dollars. Funding comes from about nine different sources including $15 million in federal funding, now more than $2 million in private donations, and local and regional entities.

Organizers expect the entire project including the Main Street upgrades to wrap up in late 2015.

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