How Many Bridges Cross The Mississippi River In Mississippi

The Mississippi River is an essential natural resource for the state of Mississippi and is a popular tourist attraction because of its many bridges. More than 20 bridges cross the Mississippi River in Mississippi, connecting communities and allowing travel via automobile, train, and even footbridges. The most famous bridge in Mississippi is the Old Highway 82 bridge, located in Greenville. Built in 1955 and spanning 3,400 feet long, the Old Highway 82 bridge is declared historic by the Mississippi Historical Commission and has become a staple of the state’s landscape.

The second most prominent bridge in Mississippi is the George Wallace Memorial Bridge in Vicksburg, which was completed in 1973 and spans 5,301 feet across the Mississippi River. This bridge is a notable landmark in the state, and is particularly popular to admire at night when lights reflect off the bridge as it crosses the river.

In addition, four bridges cross the Mississippi River at Memphis, TN and Arkansas. This includes the Hernando DeSoto Bridge, the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge, the Widener Bridge, and the Interstate 40 Bridge. These bridges provide essential trade routes for the states that connect Memphis, TN with Arkansas.

Also, there are three bridges crossing from Illinois to Missouri. These bridges are the Poplar Street Bridge, the McKinley Bridge, and the Martin Luther King Bridge. The Poplar Street Bridge has become the main bridge for crossing the Mississippi at St. Louis and carries I-64 and US-40.

Finally, the last at-grade crossing is the new Luling-Destrehan Bridge, which was completed in 2010. Spanning 1,626 feet long, this bridge crosses the Mississippi River between St. Charles and St. John Parishes in Louisiana, providing a crucial connection point between the two states.

Bridge Networks

The numerous bridges of the Mississippi River form an interconnected network that makes it possible to traverse the entire length of the river, from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. Some of the bridges interconnected together form a continuous highway, taking travelers from one state to the next. This intricate bridge system is the backbone of many big businesses and greatly increases trade between the states along the Mississippi River.

The bridges also have an important role in recreational activities, allowing tourists to experience the beauty of the Mississippi River and its surrounding area in a safe and convenient way. Some Mississippi and Missouri towns have even created riverfront parks dedicated to exporing and uncovering the mystery behind the Mississippi River.

The importance of these bridges to tourism, recreation and business in the states surrounding the Mississippi River cannot be understated. Without their bridges, the states in the region would be largely isolated. They also provide essential job opportunities for people living in the areas as well as providing much needed infrastructure development.

Economic Impact

The bridge network that crosses the Mississippi River has a considerable impact on the economy. Hundreds of thousands of people use the bridges that cross the Mississippi River each year to transport food, products, and goods from state to state. The bridges located on the river also enable businesses to exchange goods efficiently and safely, improving the local economy.

In addition to the economic boost that these bridges give to the area, they also provide a leisure option for tourists. The Bridges On The Great River Road is a popular attraction that gives tourists a chance to visit some of the most impressive bridges across the river. This organization helps to bring in money to the states, while also ensuring that the bridges stay in good repair.

Moreover, the bridges across the Mississippi River provide a safe and efficient way for barge traffic to move up and down the river. Barges transport vast amounts of freight down the river each year, providing a valuable source of income for the states along the river.

Environmental Impact

As beneficial as the bridges across the Mississippi River are, they also have an environmental impact. This is because the construction of bridges changes the natural flow of the river which affects fish and other wildlife in the area. The bridges also impede migration of fish and can introduce invasive species, both of which can have a significant influence on the fish population. To mitigate these issues, several states have implemented underwater fish passes to give fish a safe way to move between different areas of the river.

Furthermore, bridges can also disrupt the rivers natural silt deposition, leading to erosion and destabilization of river banks. This problem can be addressed through maintenance and repair of the bridges, as well as the implementation of other measures such as rip rap and vegetation along the river to reduce erosion.

In conclusion, the bridges across the Mississippi River play an important role in the economy and the environment. Through the bridges, business, transportation and recreational activities can be done safely and efficiently, while ensuring that the environment is not damaged by its construction.

Material and Construction

The material used to construct the bridges across the Mississippi River can vary from bridge to bridge. The Old Highway 82 bridge, for example, is steel truss with a reinforced concrete roadway for automobiles to travel on. On the other hand, some of the newer bridges, such as the Luling-Destrehan Bridge, are made of precast concrete and steel girders, providing a durable and cost-effective solution for crossing the Mississippi.

In addition, the bridges are designed with the help of engineers and other experts to make them both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, the George Wallace Memorial Bridge was designed to be able to handle at least two lanes of traffic and to aesthetically mimick the graceful S-shaped of the river.

The maintenance of the bridges also plays an important role in ensuring that they remain in good condition. Periodic inspections are done to ensure that the bridge structures are sound and safe for traffic, while also making sure that the bridge’s aesthetic elements are in good condition.


The first bridges started appearing across the Mississippi River in the 1800s, and since then the number of bridges has steadily increased as the need for them grew. Initially, these bridges were made of wood and usually weren’t built to withstand heavy traffic, but as years went by and technology advanced, the bridges started to become more reliable and better constructed.The Old Highway 82 bridge, for example, was built in 1955 and has been declared a state landmark due to its historical significance.

In the past, most of the Mississippi bridges were designed solely for traffic, but in recent years more and more of them have been designed for pedestrian walkways as well, giving them a chance to explore the beauty of the Mississippi River. These pedestrian bridges provide much-needed recreation as well as safety, as they ensure that cars and pedestrians can cross safely without interrupting the flow of traffic.

The bridges across the Mississippi River play an important role in connecting states and providing a safe way to cross the river. There are more than 20 bridges, some of which have been declared historic landmarks and are a significant part of the state’s landscape and culture. These bridges have a significant economic, environmental, and cultural impact on the states surrounding the river and, through maintenance and innovation, will continue to provide safe and reliable transportation for years to come.

Raymond Strasser is a passion-driven writer and researcher, dedicated to educating readers on the topic of world rivers. With a background in Geography and Environmental Studies, Raymond provides insightful pieces which explore the impact and importance that rivers have around the world.

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