New Leadership, New Name

As Carol Coletta becomes president of what was the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation, it looks like there's been an important change in focus, not the least of which is its new name - Memphis River Parks Partnership.

Highways Transformed into Parks

"Before & After" look from "Arch Daily" -   6 cities that built highways but have now transformed them into urban parks: Portland, Seoul, San Francisco, Madrid, Milwaukee, and Seattle.  Click HERE .

In Memphis, the story is different. In 1969, a plan for a 16-lane expressway along our riverfront was rejected, and, in 1971, a U.S. Supreme Court decision protected Overton Park from an interstate.

We escaped the full blow, and, yet, today, it's hard to get rid of the parking garages, lots, and interstate bridge ramps built on riverfront parkland. What's the best way to mediate Riverside Drive and slow down its traffic - reduce it to 2 lanes with a green median, close it, police it? Meanwhile in Overton Park, Memphis is heading in the opposite direction of major world cities; plans call for turning parkland into a bigger parking lot.

Convention Center Renovation

"Now & After" illustrations show exciting changes ahead for Memphis's convention center!

Posted on the Downtown Memphis Commission website today so that citizens can take a look and send comments, design plans for the $175M project will be considered by the DMC Design Review Board at their March 7 meeting. Take a look; we think you'll be impressed. Click HERE.

City Council to vote on funding Tuesday. General obligation bonds to fund project; debt to be paid with revenue from hotel-motel tax and Tourism Development Zone money.

Spring is in the Air

What a beautiful riverfront we have!
People starting to get out and enjoy our riverfront even in February on one of those early-spring type days.

Justin Timberlake Throwback - Trek in Memphis

Excellence in Design Top Honor Award for Big River Crossing

Big River Crossing is the new place to celebrate being a Memphian, and it's not just Memphians who recognize the exciting transformation of the historic Harahan Bridge. The non-profit Waterfront Center in Washington, DC has awarded Big River Crossing its Excellence in Design Top Honor Award for 2017, placing Memphis on an esteemed list of international projects that have won the award over the past 30 years.

On hand to receive the award on behalf of Charlie McVean and all the people who made this project happen, were U.S. Representative Steve Cohen, without whose active participation the project could not have succeeded, and Virginia McLean of Friends for Our Riverfront, which nominated the project for the international award.
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What's Happening on & in the Water Matters

Would it be a good idea to reconnect Wolf River to Wolf River Harbor? 

In Memphis, most of us stay on the land, except perhaps for a riverboat cruise or a paddle in the harbor. Historically we've been afraid of the Mississippi River. It's big and powerful, and, at Memphis water quality is not safe for swimming or for eating the fish we catch.

But that's changing. Races like the Canoe & Kayak Race and Dragon Boat Race are getting more people out on the water. Groups, including the River Warriors, are tackling the trash. There's a plan to repair and encourage people to use the Cobblestone Landing, and now that the Wolf River Greenway has reached its confluence with the Mississippi, there's talk about looking into whether it'd be a good idea to reconnect Wolf River to Wolf River Harbor.

A picnic on one the pristine sandbars nearby and an afternoon swim can forever transform even the staunchest landlubber into a river steward for life. As Joe Royer, a longtime advocate for the River and recreation on it, says: people in the Rockies didn't level the mountains; they learned to ski and not only had fun but developed a huge new revenue source as they did it.

Click "read more" for a quick look at what's happening ON & IN the water in Chattanooga, Columbus, New York, and downriver at Clarksdale, MS. --

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Harahan - Important Role Then & Now

This is the fascinating history of Harahan Bridge and the role it played in Memphis and U.S. history.

Big River Crossing - Big News

A huge hit! Big River Crossing opened Sat., Oct. 22, 2016. It's the transformation of the historic Harahan Bridge that adds a bike and pedestrian crossing from TN to AR across the Mississippi River at Memphis.

The brainchild of Charles McVean, Big River Crossing is "nearly a mile long, the longest public, pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi." Harahan Bridge was built as a railroad bridge with "wagon ways" on each side, boardwalks for wagons and automobiles.

It's the boardwalk on the north side that is becoming the new pedestrian/bike pathway. Big River Crossing is a major component in what's being called the green renaissance in the Memphis, and it brings that green vision downtown to our riverfront.

At a cost of $17.5M, Big River Crossing is part of the larger 10 mile "Main to Main" $43M connector project between Main Street in Memphis and Broadway Ave. in downtown West Memphis. It has led to the creation of a 1,700 acre Delta Regional Park adjacent to the Bridge in AR that includes a seven-mile trail system and to the Big River Parkway Levee trail (73-miles) funded and under construction in Eastern Arkansas.

Update on Memphis Industrial Port

Wayne Risher, for the Commercial Appeal, takes a brief look at the condition of Memphis's Industrial Port -- the need for an update and its cost.
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