Harahan Bridge Boardwalk "Big River Crossing"

Memphis, Tennessee and Crittenden County, Arkansas

Ritchie Smith Associates was team landscape architect for the bike and pedestrian trail on the Harahan Bridge over the Mississippi River, and lead designer for the West Approach in Arkansas. The one-mile long boardwalk occupies the abandoned, outboard vehicular roadbed on the north side of the historic 1916 bridge, still actively used by Union Pacific Railroad trains. The $18M Boardwalk ties into new trails that connect downtown Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas and to levee trails traversing Arkansas farmland. It is the essential link in a growing multi-state, multi-modal trail system. RSA designed the west plaza as a rest area and gathering space, and the helical ramp and sculpted landform to reach the on-grade trail below. From the plaza that repurposes the 500-foot concrete bridge deck 30 feet above the floodplain, there are views of the adjacent Frisco and I-55 bridges. From the Boardwalk there are dramatic views of the Memphis skyline, Mississippi River, and Arkansas agricultural landscape. RSA collaborated with the HDR-led team on design of the bridge elements, including overlooks, railing, decking, canopies, and lighting.