The first road trip of 2014 finally arrived, and while most of it was not in Mississippi, I did manage a short little drive from Arkansas to home in Lafayette County, and a first for me: crossing the Mississippi River bridge at Helena, Arkansas.
The Arkansas-Mississippi Bridge Commission was formed in 1950 with the purpose
…to plan, construct, maintain and operate a bridge and approaches thereto across the Mississippi River at or near Helena, Arkansas and Friars Point, Mississippi, at a point deemed by the commission as most suitable to the interests of the citizens of the States of Arkansas and Mississippi in accordance with the provisions of an act of the Seventy-Ninth Congress, Second Session, of the United States entitled “The General Bridge Act of 1946.” (Laws, 1950, ch. 393, retrieved from PublicResource.Org)
The bridge record (Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department) indicates the bridge plans were begun in February 1956. The bridge construction was begun in 1958 and completed in 1961, at a cost of $2,682,901.13, by the Kansas City Bridge Company and Guy H. James Construction Company, with a truss length of 3,110’0″. The ASHTD Historic Bridge Inventory 1987-2010 described the bridge as Warren thru truss, but other sources differ as to whether it is continuous or cantilever. Bridge experts, which is it?
Note: Continuous truss extends without hinges or joints across 3 or more spans; cantilever structural members project beyond the supporting column with a counterbalanced support at one end (Ohio Department of Transportation, bridge definitions).