December 17, 1949
The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge opened. For the first time, four-lane automobile commerce was possible between Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. It replaced an earlier wooden structure, the Harahan Bridge, which opened to automobile traffic in 1916 and allowed a single lane of traffic on each side of the Frisco Railway bridge. The Harahan Bridge caught fire in September 1928 and remained closed to automobile traffic for a year and a half during repairs. The Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge cost $10.5 million to build. It carries an estimated 50,000 cars a day, which is about 5,000 fewer than the newer Desoto Bridge.