All cable stayed bridges differ in one way or another. The US Grant Bridge is unique in several aspects. First, the cables join the support towers from a structure at the very top of the towers. In most cable stayed bridges, the cables attach up the sides of the towers. Second, the towers are each a single vertical column, whereas other cable stayed towers are large H, A, or event inverted Y forms. Third, the towers come up through the middle of the deck, whereas most cable stayed bridges have the towers to the outside, in the middle between two spans. Finally, there is very little structure for the bridge deck connected to the towers. The steel deck connects to a single concrete member at the tower, with 4 stay cables set nearly vertical at each tower. The result is that most of the deck weight is transferred through the cables rather than directly to the towers.
The new bridge was planned to be complete in 2004, but construction delays and a project redesign set it back two years. There was no single reason, rather, a series of small items that built up over time. This included unexpected material located under one of the footings, a change order on the steel, a barge that sank carrying one of the cranes, bad weather, and the need for a very detailed erection plans for the steel. The local population was somewhat upset about the delays given that the old bridge had been removed before the new bridge was open. That problem was mitigated by the existence of the Carl Perkins bridge that was only a mile away, however, the roadway to that bridge diverted traffic away from the downtown business area.
The old bridge was a 1927 era two lane pure suspension bridge. The bridge deteriorated to the point where it was no longer economically feasible to repair the structure. Both bridges are named in honor of General U.S. Grant, the Civil War hero and 18th US President.