“Looking up” out my car window this morning. My scene on the way to work.
Built in 1890, the 2,376 feet Walnut Street Bridge was the first to connect Chattanooga’s downtown with the North Shore. The bridge is historically significant as an extremely long and old example of its type; according to the Historic American Engineering Record: “The bridge was apparently the first non-military highway bridge across the Tennessee River.”
The “county bridge”, as the Walnut Street Bridge was once known, connected the predominantly white city on the south side of the Tennessee River with the large black work force on the north side (“North Shore”) in Hill City, a town that was annexed by Chattanooga in 1912.
The bridge was closed to motor vehicles in 1978 and sat in disuse and disrepair for nearly a decade. Repairs and structural modifications have been made to turn the bridge into what is now a pedestrian walkway. The Walnut Street Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1990. The pedestrian bridge sits near the heart of a massive and recently completed urban renewal project.