View from the bank of the Tennessee River of the John Coffee Memorial Bridge.

Repair or Replace the John Coffee Memorial Bridge

Natchez Trace Parkway » Repair or Replace the John Coffee Memorial Bridge » Document List

Established in 1938 by the National Park Service, the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway) is a 444-mile roadway, commemorating the Old Natchez Trace historic trail system. Along its route, the Parkway bisects traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw Nations, who lived, traveled, and traded along the Natchez Trace. During the United States westward expansion, settlers and travelers eventually created a clearly marked path for the Natchez Trace. Today, the Parkway is a beautiful greenway traversing the southern Appalachian foothills of Nashville, Tennessee, down to the bluffs of the Mississippi River, in Natchez, Mississippi. The Parkway also preserves and protects diverse ecosystems and habitats for nearly 1,500 plant species, 33 mammal species, 134 bird species, and 70 species of reptiles and amphibians. As a designated National Scenic Byway, All-American Road, and bicycling route, the Parkway is an important treasure for modern travelers to experience historic and scenic landscapes.

Opened to traffic in 1964, the Parkway's John Coffee Memorial Bridge carries visitors across the Tennessee River, however the bridge has never undergone a major rehabilitation. Today, the nearly 1-mile-long bridge continues to provide access for park visitors and local communities across Alabama and allows passage of river barge traffic. The bridge, while currently safe, has exceeded its design life and is becoming structurally deficient, meaning the bridge is deteriorating due to time and limitations of the original design, and will soon be limited in load carrying capacity. The National Park Service, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration is working together with additional state, agency, and partners to determine strategies to continue to all for future safe access across the river.

Contact Information

Doug Neighbor 1-800-305-7417