Memphis officials are ecstatic about news of a $14.9 million federal grant to use the old Harahan Bridge across the Mississippi River to create a bike-pedestrian pathway linking the main streets of Memphis and West Memphis. The bridge carries rail traffic and has roadways that have been closed to auto traffic since 1949.
“I’m elated” said U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen. “These new federal funds will help improve livability in downtown Memphis, will increase tourism, will drive economic development and create jobs, make our city more attractive to young people, and enable people to bike over the historic, scenic Mississippi River.”
… Memphis philanthropist and businessman Charles McVean, who was one of the first proponents of the project, said this grant is “iconic” and “a game-changer” and “one of the biggest things that has ever happened to Memphis.” McVean has invested in a hybrid bike called the Aerobic Cruiser that is designed for long rides and people seeking an assist to pedal power.
Maybe if U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin could spend more time at the Department of Transportation and less time hassling war veterans in need of health and other services, he could add a little federal heft to efforts by Mayors Mark Stodola and Pat Hays to convert a much shorter bridge (Broadway) into an iconic park and pedestrian link between Argenta and South Argenta.