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Organizers expect Harahan Bridge Boardwalk to change 'international image'

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The Main to Main Project includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River. The Main to Main Project includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River.
The original architectural design of the boardwalk showed a cycling, running and walking path over the Mississippi. The original architectural design of the boardwalk showed a cycling, running and walking path over the Mississippi.
The boardwalk will be quite the gem, but the improvements to Main Street will be significant, too. The boardwalk will be quite the gem, but the improvements to Main Street will be significant, too.

(WMC-TV) - A $30 million project connecting Main Street in Memphis to Main Street in West Memphis, Arkansas holds the potential to change the entire international image of the Bluff City, according to project organizers.

The Main to Main Project includes the Harahan Bridge Boardwalk over the Mississippi River.

The original architectural design of the boardwalk showed a cycling, running and walking path over the Mississippi.

"There are very few amenities like that anywhere in the country. There are a few pedestrian bridges that cross rivers, but not one that crosses the Mississippi," said project manager and former Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter.

Carpenter said the boardwalk will be quite the gem, but the improvements to Main Street will be significant, too.

"We'll have a dedicated ADA compliant path," he said. "We will eliminate a number of drainage problems that occur when we have heavy rain ... Fresh sidewalks, curb and gutter improvements."

When the project is finished, it will connect a renovated Main Street Memphis to an improved Broadway Avenue in West Memphis.

The cost to renovate and improve the area totals more than $30 million dollars. Funding comes from about nine different sources including $15 million in federal funding, $1 million in private donations, and local and regional entities.

"It has an appeal along with the other trail systems and bike lanes and park improvements that we're doing all across the community," said Carpenter.

The boardwalk's date to open is roughly one year away in either July or August 2014. Organizers expect the entire project including the Main Street upgrades to wrap up in late 2015.

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