Big Dam Bridge
Little Rock, AR - Events of Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The Murray Lock and Dam is located on the Arkansas River in Little Rock. On September 30, 2006, a pedestrian-bicycle bridge located at the dam was opened to connect the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. The bridge, which was 8 years in the planning and building, was built to connect miles of scenic walking and biking trails on both sides of the river.
Tuesday was a beautiful, sunny day so we decided to check out the bridge.
The bridge was originally intended to be called the Murray Dam Bridge, but when an official made a comment about building the "big dam bridge" (and he insisted he was referring to the location at the dam, not using an expletive), the name stuck. It is officially known as the Big Dam Bridge.
The total length of the bridge is 4,226 feet. The main span across the dam is 3,463 feet, and the the approach ramps make up the remainder of the length. The approach ramps are at a 5% grade.
From the top of the ramp, we got a good view of the lock. We were hoping to catch a boat going through; but, even though there were several tow boats with barges that passed the campground the night before, there normally isn't that much river traffic. There was nothing in sight - not even a row boat - the entire time we were at the bridge.
We started out across the main span, which stands 90 feet above the river on the downstream side.
The sun was hot and the air temperature was approaching 90º, but there was a nice breeze as we walked across the bridge. Since it was a weekday, there were only a few cyclists, a couple of joggers and several other walkers.
There are small observation platforms along the main span where you can get a good view of the bridge supports. Notches for the bases of the bridge supports were cut into the concrete supports for the flood gates.
From the main span you can also get good views up and down the river. Maumelle Park, where we were staying, is located near the cone-shaped peak to the left of center in the next photo.
We had more stops to make so we didn't take the time to walk all the way across the bridge. Because it was getting late, we only walked a little past the center. We'll tell you all about our other stops in our next post.