There is a story floating around about a student pilot that flew a loop around this bridge in 1956. While the story is not confirmed, many people who were stationed at nearby Malden Air Base at the time have recounted these events. A student pilot flying a T-28 trainer was obsessed with the idea of flying a loop around the Cairo highway bridge. Once day, after spending many hours studying the problem, he found himself flying in the area alone. He decided that today was the day. After taking a pass to make sure that there was no barge traffic in the area, he flew out a few miles to line up his flight and gain some speed. Unfortunately, he picked up a little too much speed. He flew under the bridge OK, but by the time he pulled up into the loop, he was well beyond the bridge. As he went inverted, he could see that he would come down right about where the bridge was. If he tried to tighten up the loop, he might have hit the bridge. If he tried to lengthen the loop, he might stall and crash into the river. As it happens, he just cleared the bridge, so he pulled back hard to start to pull up under the bridge to finish the loop. By the time the airplane started to climb, he had hit the water, damaging the skin on the wings and about 12 inches of the outer tips of the propeller. He flew back to the air base, parked the airplane, and wrote it up as having a rough engine. Officials at the base figured out what had happened, and the cadet was ejected from the flight training program.
The photo above is a view from near the northeast corner of the bridge. The vantage point is from behind a service building for the Fort Defiance Park located at the intersection of US-51, US-60, and US-62. The US-51 Ohio River bridge begins just to the left of this photo. The photo below is the south end of the bridge near Bird's Point. The nearby US-51 bridge over the Ohio River is visible in the trees just above the guardrail leading to the US-60/US-62 bridge.