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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Greenville Bridge
US-82/US-278 Mississippi River Crossing At Greenville
Greenville, Mississippi

US-82 Greenville Bridge

• Structure ID: Not Listed In 2010 NBI Data.
• Location: River Mile 530.8.
• River Elevation: 92 Feet.
• Highway: US-82, US-278.
• Bridge Type: Cable Stayed Suspended Deck.
• Daily Traffic Count: 7,200 (2002, Old Bridge).
• Length: 13,560 Feet Overall, 1,378 Foot Longest Span.
• Width: 4 Lanes With Shoulders.
• Navigation Channel Width: 1,280 Feet.
• Height Above Water: 121 Feet.
• Date Built: Completed Late 2006, Opened August 4, 2010.
The Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge, which carried US-82 and US-278 across the Mississippi River for 70 years, was a navigation hazard from the day it was built just prior to World War II. The bridge wass located on a tight curve in the river with a strong cross-current flowing across the navigation channel near the bridge piers. Navigation through the bridge was much like threading the eye of a needle. Despite the Humphreys Bridge still being structurally sound, it was decided to replace that structure, with the new Greenville Bridge project being kicked off in 2001.

The replacement structure, a giant cable stayed bridge, is situated about about 2,800 feet downriver. It is located on a straight section of the river with a 1,300 foot span between the two 425 foot tall bridge towers. Like the old Humphreys Bridge, the Greenville Bridge is located almost entirely in Arkansas, including most of the eastern approach road. This is due to the river channel having moved west, but the state line remaining at the location of the old river channel.

Various web sites, including the official project web site, claimed that this would be the largest cable stay bridge in North America when completed. That claim appears to be incorrect given that the Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina, has a span of over 1,500 feet and towers that are 575 feet tall. When the Greenville Bridge opened, it was the second largest cable stayed bridge in the US based on the 1,378 foot main channel span. It held the number two spot only nine months until the John James Audubon Bridge opened in May of 2011, which pushed the Greenville Bridge back to thrid place.

Despite not being the largest bridge over the Mississippi River, the Greenville Bridge is still an impressive structure. The bridge has 2-1/2 miles of elevated roadway. The main structure of the bridge is 2,560 feet long with a 1,378 foot main span and two 591 foot long side spans.

As of November, 2006, the cable stayed bridge was complete. However, construction on the approach roads was only just getting underway. It would take almost 4 more years to complete the approach roads, so the new river crossing became the ultimte bridge to nowhere, one huge and elegant structure with both ends suspended 120 feet in the air. An official Mississippi DOT photo of the completed bridge is included below showing the structure spanning the river, but not being connected to the highway system.

The opening of the new Greenville Bridge was eventually scheduled for July 28, 2010, with a ribbon cutting ceremony behing held two days prior to the opening. The opening was delayed a few days when, at the last minute, it was decided to complete some additional paving work on one of the approach roads and bad weather set back that paving. The long awaited opening finally occured at around 6 PM on August 4, 2010. The old bridge was closed at that time, and was largely dismantled during 2011.

The photo above is looking downstream to the southeast from the construction staging area on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The old bridge, known as the Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge, is visible in the foreground. From this vantage point, only the east main bridge tower is visible. The photo below is an aerial photo of the bridge site in the summer of 2006 looking northeast with the city of Greensville in the distance. This image was provided to me by the the bridge project manager.


US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
There are publically available locations to see the main span of the Greenville Bridge, at least not without hiking through a snake infested swamp or from a boat on the river. These two photos are about as close as one can get with an automobile. The photo above is looking east along the south face of the bridge from the parking lot of the Cow Pen restaurant. The Cow Pen is located adjacent to the west bridge abutment. Coincidentally, the Cow Pen caught fire and burned in 2007 while the Greenville Bridge was under construction, but it has since been rebuilt. The photo below is looking southeast from the former US-82 alignment leading to the old bridge.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is looking east from the boat ram at the Lakeshore Cafe in nearby Lake Village, Arkansas. The Greenville Bridge is slightly over 4 miles away, most of which is over Lake Chicot, an oxbow lake that was once the main channel of the Mississippi River. The photo below is a view of the upper portion of the west main bridge tower where the stay cables are connected to the tower. The bridge features two towers, each of which has two parallel cable fans.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
These two photos are views of the cables as they attach to the bridge deck near the east tower. These views were taken from a moving vehicle heading eastbound. The photo above is looking diagonally across the bridge deck, while in the photo below, we are in the traffic lane next to the south edge of the structure.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
These two photos are views of the east bridge abutment in Refuge, Mississippi. The approach spans are prestressed concrete girders supported by a long series of large concrete T-piers.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is the approach spans on the east end of the bridge as they pass over Refuge Road. Harlow's Casinoe Resort & Hotel is located on the far side of the approach spans on the north side of the structure. The photo below is a transistion point from prestressed concrete girders to a steel deck plate girder span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
These two photos show that the steel deck plate girder spans are used to cross the levee. The photo below is looking northwest from Refuge Road, while the photo below is looking south from the parking lot at Harlow's Casino.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is the underside of a concrete girder span. The girders are large concrete I-beams that are held upright by concrete blocks set between the girders. The photo below is the underside of a steel deck plate girder span. The steel girders are nearly twice as tall as the concrete girders, but they also span longer distances between piers.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
These two photos, and the 14 that follow, show a typical bridge crossing heading westbound from Mississippi to Arkansas. The photo above is the temporary connection from the old alignment of US-82 to the new Greenville Bridge. Eventually, there will be a freeway baypssing the south side of Greenville, and the current routing of US-82 will connect to this freeway at an interchange located about a mile east of the bridge site. The photo below is the 4-lane approach to the bridge.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, the photo above is the final approach to the east end of the Greenville Bridge. The photo below is our first view fiew after having entered the bridge. From here, we have to climb a small grade to get up and over the levee, which passes under a longer steel deck plate girder span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, the photo above is from about a mile from the first cable suspended span. While the bridge deck appears to have leveled out, we are still climbing at a steady rate to reach a level of about 120 feet above the river. In the photo below, we are about one-third of a mile from the first cable suspended span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, in the photo above, we are apporaching the east end of the first cable suspended bridge span, while in the photo below, we have entered the first cable suspended span and are traveling between the two parallel cable fans on the east side of the main bridge span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, the photo above shows us passing the east main bridge tower. In the photo below, we are nearing the midpoint of the main bridge span and we are approaching the cable fans on the west end of the main bridge span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, in the photo above, we are apporaching the west main bridge tower. The photo below is the west end of the suspended span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, the photo above is the concrete girder trestle at the west end of the structure. The photo below is at the crest of the grade leading down to the west bridge abutment.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our westbound crossing, the photo above is descending the grade at the west end of the structure. The photo below is exiting the bridge and back on dry land. While the Arkansas state line sign is located just west of the bridge abutment, the bridge itself is located almost entirely in the state of Arkansas, with the state line being near the east abutment well east of the Mississippi River.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is looking southeast along the upstream north face of the bridge. Our vantage point is standing on the shoulder of the old alignment of highway US-82. The photo below is looking southwest towards the west bridge abutment.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is a close view of a pair of T-piers that support a prestressed concrete girder span. The photo below is the deck plate girder span on the west end of the structure that carries the highway over the levee.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
These two photos, and the 13 that follow, show a typical bridge crossing heading eastbound. The photo above is the intersection at the west end of the bridge with the roadway leading to the old Benjamin G. Humphreys Bridge. The photo below is approaching the west end of the Greenville Bridge.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, the photo above is taken just after entered the west end of the bridge. The photo below is climbing the grade at the west end of the structure to get up and over the levee.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, the photo above shows us about a quarter mile from the main suspended spans. In the photo below, we are approaching the west end of the main suspended span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, thes two photos show us crossing the main span over the river navigation channel. In the photo above, we have just passed the west main bridge tower, while in the photo below, we are passing between the two parallel cable fans on the east end of the main channel span.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, the photo above shows the east end of the main suspended spans, while the photo below shows the prestressed concrete girder spans on the east end of the bridge.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, in the photo above, we are about half way across the concrete girder spans on the east end of the structure. In the photo below, we are at the crest of the grade leading back down to ground level as we pass over the levee on the east side of the river.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
Continuing our eastbound bridge crossing, the photo above shows the east end of the Greenville Bridge. The photo below is a telephoto view showing the freeway constructure east of the Greenville Bridge, including an interchange where the freeway will connect to the old alignment of US-82.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is the end of the 4-lane segment at the east end of the Greenville Bridge, where a temporary connection connects to the old alignment of US-82. The photo below is the east tower of the Greenville during construction in the summer of 2005. The deck is being installed. As each section of the deck is added to the bridge, it is supported with a stay cable. The vantage point is under the west end of the Humphreys Bridge located just upstream.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is the west bridge tower as seen from the bridge project staging area under the Humphreys Bridge. I visited the bridge site on three occasions while the bridge was under construction, but it was raining each time, which explains the foggy photos and the ugly sky. The photo below is looking northeast towards the bridge project from near the levee on the west side of the river.

US-82 Greenville Bridge
US-82 Greenville Bridge
The photo above is looking south at the bridge project from near the US-82 bridge on the west side of the river. The only part of the bridge that is visible from these locations is the tops of the towers. The photo below is a view of the bridge project from a farm field located outside of the levee system on the west side of the river.

US-82 Greenville Bridge

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