Walnut Street Bridge (Tennessee)
The Walnut Street Bridge is a
truss bridgethat spans the Tennessee Riverin Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Built in 1890, it was the first to connect Chattanooga's downtown with the North Shore. According to the plaque on the bridge, Edwin Thatcher was the chief engineer for the bridge. The bridge's superstructure was built by the
Smith Bridge Companyof Toledo, Ohio, which was a prolific late 19th Century bridge builder. The bridge's substructure was built by Neeley, Smith and Company of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The bridge's main spans are pin-connected Pennsylvania through truss spans. The top chord of these truss spans are configured in five sections, making the spans similar to the Camelback truss design. The bridge is historically significant as an extremely long and old example of its type.
The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978, and sat in disuse and disrepair for nearly a decade. Repairs and structural modifications have been made to turn the
bridgeinto what is now a pedestrian walkway. The 2,376 foot (720 m) span is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world and sits near the heart of a massive, recently completed urban renewalproject. The bridge is well-loved by local residents and very popular among tourists.
The commonly-known "county bridge" connected the predominantly White city on the south side of the
Tennessee Riverwith the large Black work force on the north side ("North Shore") in Hill City, a town that was subsumed into Chattanooga in 1912.
Two African-American men were lynched on the bridge: Alfred Blount on
February 14, 1893, was hanged from the first span for allegedly attacking a white woman; and Ed Johnson on March 19, 1906, was hanged from the second span, also for allegedly attacking a white woman. Johnson's lynching initiated a [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/shipp.html court case] that went all the way to the Supreme Court.
* [http://www.bikekatytrail.com/walnutstreet.asp Katy Trail bridge profile]
* [http://www.darkfiber.com/tomb/johnson/alfredblount.html Lynching of Alfred Blount]
* [http://www.darkfiber.com/tomb/johnson/index.html Lynching of Ed Johnson]
* [http://www.chattanoogapulse.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2006/02/01/43dfa19077b9b?in_archive=1 The Killing Bridge]
* [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/shipp/shipp.html The 1907 Trial of Sheriff Joseph Shipp]
* [http://www.historicbridges.org/tennessee/walnut/index.htm Historic Bridges of Michigan and Elsewhere Page] Discussion of the bridge's historic significance and numerous photos.
* [http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hh:@field(DOCID+@lit(TN0195)) Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Entry] Historic overview and documentation for the bridge.
structure = Bridges
bridge = Walnut Street Bridge
bridge signs =
upstream = Veterans Memorial Bridge
upstream signs =
downstream = Market Street Bridge
downstream signs =
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