Cars drove across
on 2 narrow wooden one lane roadways
suspended along both sides of the main
bridge structure. With only a thin railing
separating the vehicles from the muddy
river far below, those who were scared
of heights simply didn't travel by car on
this mile long "side car" bridge.
The original plans didn't
call for any
automobile roadway, and efforts to add
one were resisted by the railroad until a
Tennessee senator threatened to block
passage of the bridge permit.
The first cars drove across
5th, 1917. For six years after that there
was a 25 cent toll fee for using the
According to my mother,
would rattle and shake like it was about
to throw you off whenever
overhead, which was almost all the time.
The roadways caught fire
in 1928 due to
stray sparks from a train overhead near
the Memphis end. The creosote soaked
planks blazed so fiercely that several
sections of the tracks were twisted loose
by the heat. It was several months before
repairs were completed to the roadway
and cars could use their part of the
The roadways were finally
the planking ripped up in 1949 upon the
opening of the Memphis-Arkansas
Bridge, which is
still in use today.
But, this roadway isn't
the only thing old
and abandoned about the Harahan...