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Shelby Street Bridge

Shelby Street Bridge

The Shelby Street Bridge (John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge) is a Parker through truss over the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

The Shelby Street Bridge was designed by Howard M. Jones, the chief office engineer of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, and constructed by the Foster-Creighton-Gould Company of Nashville at the cost of $475,000 between 1907-09. 1 It was the first in North America to feature concrete arch piers. The crossing formally opened to traffic on July 5, 1909.

Worn surfaces of the concrete were chipped away between 1927 and 1930 and replaced with gunite and again in 1960.

The Shelby Street Bridge was in poor condition by the 1990s and was closed to vehicular traffic in 1998. It was scheduled for demolition, but because of its aesthetic and historical merits, it was decided that it should be converted for pedestrians and cyclists.

The renovation of the Shelby Street crossing included the installation of an elevator, ramps, and stairways and was finished at the cost of $15 million. 2 It reopened as part of the Metro Nashville Greenway network on August 3, 2003. It was named after John Seigenthaler, a local journalist, and civil rights advocate. 3


  • State: Tennessee
  • Route: Shelby Street
  • Type: Parker Through Truss
  • Status: Active - Pedestrian
  • Total Length: 2,265 feet
  • Main Span Length: 318 feet
  • Spans:
  • Deck Width: 36.4 feet
  • Above Vertical Clearance: 16 feet


  1. Paine, Anne. “Does anybody know bridge’s real name?” The Tennessean, 2 Sept. 2003.
  2. “Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge”Emporis.
  3. Cass, Michael. “John Seigenthaler honored with renaming of bridge.” The Tennessean, 29 Apr. 2014.

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