Photo Gallery | Photo Gallery: Harahan Bridge through the years
The $30 million project connecting Main Street in Memphis to Main Street in West Memphis, Arkansas holds the potential to change the entire international image of the Bluff City, according to project planners.
Organizers expect the public walkway over the mighty Mississippi River to open roughly one year from now in either July or August 2014.
Named the Main to Main Project, the plan includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River.
The original architectural design of the boardwalk showed a cycling, running and walking path over the Mississippi.
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, $1 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. Click here to watch the entire video report.