Walnut Street Bridge
Walnut Street Bridge stands as a true engineering wonder, towering over the Tennessee River and connecting Chattanooga’s Downtown district to its charming North Shore neighborhood. This truss-style bridge is among the longest-standing in all of America – having been first constructed back in 1890. This picturesque structure has withstood both time and weather for over 131 years – making it an incredible marvel that should be admired during any visit to this beautiful city.
In 1978, the Walnut Street Bridge ceased to serve motor vehicles and became increasingly neglected. Fast-forward two decades later, and this bridge is a revitalized skyline staple – its grandeur is showcased as an alluring pedestrian walkway for the people of Chattanooga to explore and admire. The beauty of the past has been brought back in majestic effect.
Spanning nearly two-thirds of a mile in length, the Walnut Street Bridge is an impressive feat of engineering and history. Built using five sections that create a Pennsylvania through truss design similar to the Camelback model, it was reportedly the first non-military highway bridge across the Tennessee River when constructed. Its significance still resonates today – this long-standing symbol stands as a testament to its engineers’ innovative ideas and accomplishments.
Those seeking to explore the beauty of Chattanooga’s North Shore should start their journey at Coolidge Park. Founded in 2000, this beloved city park is a favorite among locals and features an iconic antique Dentzel carousel with 52 hand-carved animals finished in stunning gold leaf – kids love to hop on for a thrilling ride. During summer months, families also take advantage of cooler temperatures by crossing Walnut Street Bridge over to North Shore and splashing away stressors at its signature splash pads.
Residents of the prestigious North Shore neighborhood are just a stroll away from all that downtown Chattanooga has to offer, thanks to Walnut Street Bridge. Spanning high over the Tennessee River and connecting both banks in style, this impressive passageway is more than just beautiful – it’s also the site of countless exciting events throughout each year. From Wine Over Water Festival right through to the Seven Bridges Marathon, there’s always something fun going on here.
The Walnut Street Bridge has been a source of pride for the Chattanooga community since its completion in 1891. In 2009, due to wear and tear from years of use, it was time for repairs—costing $1.3 million. The City Council awarded this contract to Tower Construction which replaced deteriorating asphalt with wood planking by May 2010.
Thanks to Chattanooga Venture’s successful fundraising campaign – ‘The Walnut Street Bridge Fund’ – additional funds allowed for further enhancements such as replacing damaged or stolen original plaques sponsored by The Parks Foundation, which is committed to bringing improvements and programming opportunities that extend public park utilization across the area.
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