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Vicksburg Bridge (Vicksburg, MS)

 

Located a few hundred feet downriver from the Old Vicksburg Bridge, the Vicksburg Bridge, or the “New” Bridge, serves as the city’s vehicular crossing of the Mississippi River on the main highway connecting Vicksburg with northeastern Louisiana to the west and the state capital of Jackson to the east.

The completion of the original Vicksburg Bridge in 1930 was seen as a huge success and the bridge proved to be a profitable entity for both road and railroad interests along the path of the Dixie Overland Highway and the subsequent US Highway 80 corridor. In the years after the creation of the National Interstate Highway System, planning commenced on a new bridge at the site that would relieve the congestion on the existing bridge while providing for a more modern crossing of the river that would be safe for all vehicles. The construction of the new bridge at Vicksburg was completed in 1973 and its design intentionally mimics that of its predecessor nearby. This was due in large part to the realities of the Mississippi River at this location. Due to the occasional presence of eddies and crosscurrents in the river in this area, it was realized during the planning of the bridge that the new structure needed to be placed parallel to the existing bridge with its piers also located in line with the existing structure so that barges and river traffic would not have to zig-zag or alter course while trying to pass beneath both bridges. As a result of the constraints of where the new bridge’s piers could be located, designers chose to essentially replicate the proportions and appearance of the old bridge, while building a wider roadway with modern-width travel lanes. (It should be noted however, that this bridge does lack emergency shoulders on the right, which is an unusual omission from an interstate highway bridge.)


This view of the two monstrous steel bridges on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg is available to visitors to the Mississippi Welcome Center located off of Exit 1A on Interstate 20. The Old Vicksburg Bridge is to the right, while the "new" Vicksburg Bridge is to the left.

Like its older neighbor just upriver, this new bridge is a lengthy steel truss bridge with multiple deck truss spans on each side of the main span. The longest span of the bridge is 870 ft and it has an overall length of about 2 ½ miles from abutment to abutment, due to a lengthy approach viaduct on the Louisiana side of the river that enables the roadway to span the river floodplain and levee to the west.

Built for high-speed traffic, this bridge has been part of Interstate 20 since its opening in 1973. I-20 is one of the major east-west freeway corridors for the American Deep South, stretching from western Texas to eastern South Carolina by way of Dallas, Shreveport, Jackson, Birmingham, and Atlanta. In 1998, the US Highway 80 designation was relocated to this bridge upon the closure of the Old Vicksburg Bridge to vehicle traffic. As it stands, the Vicksburg Bridge is the busiest bridge on the lower Mississippi River between Memphis and Baton Rouge and it serves a mix of local and long-distance traffic along one of America’s busiest interstate highway corridors.

The following pictures from my visits to the Vicksburg Bridge in February 2023 showcase various ground-level views of the bridge and its surroundings on the Mississippi River taken from multiple locations on the Mississippi side of the river. The aforementioned Mississippi Welcome Center is a great place to view this bridge. There is another fantastic viewing point a short distance south at a parking lot for a Waffle House. Click on each photo to see a larger version.


The following photos from my February 2023 visits to the Vicksburg Bridge showcase the eastbound crossing of the bridge from Louisiana to Mississippi. Click on each photo to see a larger version.

The following photos from my February 2023 visits to the Vicksburg Bridge showcase the westbound crossing of the bridge from Mississippi to Louisiana. Click on each photo to see a larger version.

The following aerial photos from my February 2023 visits to the Vicksburg Bridge showcase various views of the bridge and its surroundings along the Mississippi River. Take note of the nearby presence of the Old Vicksburg Bridge in these photos as well. Click on each photo to see a larger version.


Dashcam video of the eastbound drive over the Vicksburg Bridge was filmed in February 2023 for the 'roadwaywiz' YouTube channel and is available for viewing at the link below:

Dashcam video of the westbound drive over the Vicksburg Bridge was filmed in February 2023 for the 'roadwaywiz' YouTube channel and is available for viewing at the link below:

The Vicksburg Bridge was featured in the "Bridges of the Lower Mississippi River" webinar on the 'roadwaywiz' YouTube channel, beginning at the 1:08:00 mark:

How To Get There:


Further Reading:
Vicksburg Bridge by John Weeks
Vicksburg Bridge at historicbridges.org
Vicksburg's Mississippi River Bridges by Gribblenation

Bridges, Crossings, and Structures of the Lower Mississippi River
Next Crossing upriver: Old Vicksburg Bridge (Vicksburg, MS)
Next Crossing downriver: Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)
Visit the Mississippi River Bridges of Vicksburg Overview Page
Return to the Bridges of the Lower Mississippi River Home Page
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