A Wheel and Away

Walnut Street Bridge, TN

Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

Take a wander along the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world.  Originally opened in 1891, the bridge is 2376 ft /724 meters long.

It originally linked the two sides of the river in Chattanooga, the mainly white side on the south and the mainly black side on the north.

When it was originally built, the bridge was the first non-military bridge to span the Tennessee River and was open to both cars and pedestrians but structural deterioration caused it to be closed to cars in 1978.  It was unused until 1990 when repairs and modifications enabled it to reopen as a pedestrian bridge.

The bridge also has historical significance as the site of the lynchings of two black men separately accused of attacking white women.

Now it plays host to many events including the “Wine over Water” wine festival and the “Riverbend” music festival.  The Seven Bridges marathon incorporates the bridge as part of the route.

An evening stroll along the bridge affords great views up and down the river.

 General accessibility information

There is ramped access to the walkways on the left and right of the bridge from the North side – be aware though that there are no ramps at the very end on the south side although there are some a bit further back.  The bridge is wooden and easy enough to navigate in a wheelchair.