Modjeski and Masters was engaged to design a new highway bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis, Tennessee. The project was a joint effort by the Tennessee and Arkansas Department of Highways and the Public Roads Administration. Increased highway traffic demands in the area necessitated a dedicated highway structure. Highway traffic could only cross the river on the Ralph Modjeski-designed Harahan Bridge which had served the area for nearly 30 years until this point. Frank Masters (shown at center in this photo) was on-hand for an initial project meeting with key stakeholders.
Construction commences on the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge in October 1945 at a location approximately 100 feet downriver from the Frisco Bridge (shown at right in this photo). Construction would be completed on the substructure by 1948 after several delays from the war effort and flooding.
Work on the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge superstructure commenced in August 1948 with assembly of the through-truss spans. Construction on the bridge would continue until November 1949.
The Memphis & Arkansas Bridge project was financed as an interstate Federal-aid project. It was completed and officially opened to traffic on December 17, 1949. This project marked the third bridge project for Modjeski and Masters at this site with the Harahan Bridge (1916) and the Frisco Bridge (1892...Ralph Modjeski was an senior apprentice to George Morison at the time).
The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. The bridge's significance is listed as " it is the best example of a continuous truss, Warren truss with verticals, through truss, bridge designed exclusively for vehicular traffic in this area."