Mississippi Pic Of The Day Roadtrip

Pic of the day – Greenville Bridge

On my way to Greenwood I passed the Greenville bridge and was able to make a few shots and here’s some info:

The Greenville Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River,  carrying US 82 and US 278 between Refuge, Mississippi, and Shives, Arkansas. When it opened in 2010, it was the fourth-longest cable-stayed bridge in North America.

The Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge, the first bridge to connect the two towns, had become functionally obsolete. Its narrow road had only two lanes with no shoulders. Because of its location near a sharp bend in the Mississippi River, the bridge had become a hazard to river traffic; barges and towboats frequently collided with it. In 1994, a study concluded that a new bridge was needed and the old one should be torn down. Construction was begun in 2001 and the new bridge opened in 2010. In 2011, the process of removing the old bridge began.

Both the old and new bridges are geographically mostly in Arkansas, as the state lines were determined prior to the shift west of the Mississippi River.

The first Greenville Bridge was built by the company now known as HNTB and opened to much fanfare in 1940 as the “pathway to progress” for the Mississippi Delta. It was a through-truss design and had a span of 840 feet (260 m). Until 1943, this was the longest bridge for vehicles on the Mississippi River.

Over time, the bridge supported increasing volumes of highway traffic and vehicles hitting the bridge. In the 1950s, an Air Force plane crashed into the bridge. Though the bridge remained structurally sound, it was becoming functionally obsolete. It had only two narrow highway lanes and no shoulders. An accident or the crossing of very large vehicles such as a large combine could force the bridge to close.

With river traffic increasing, damage from barge collisions increased. By 1972, the Greenville Bridge was hit more times by barges than any other bridge on the Mississippi. The bridge was located close to a sharp bend in the Mississippi; towboats and barges had difficulty making the sharp turn and regaining their course in time to avoid a collision with the bridge. Over the years, many have not been able to make the turn quickly and have hit it. The bridge had become a danger to river traffic.

A 1994 engineering study by the Mississippi Department of Transportation explored alternatives to upgrading the crossing of US 82 and issued a report that explored a four-lane crossing at Greenville. It concluded the best of several alternatives it identified was to build a new bridge 0.5 miles (0.80 km) downriver from the old one, and to remove the old bridge. Additional studies evaluated the type of bridge to build, and by 1995 the cable-stayed bridge was chosen as the best design to fit the river and soil conditions, as well as providing sufficient clearance for river navigation. Engineering plans were completed in 1999.

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