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40th Anniversary of the Hernando de Soto Bridge

August 2, 2013




The Hernando de Soto Bridge is a through arch bridge carrying Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between West Memphis, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee. Memphians also call the bridge the "New Bridge," as it is newer than the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge (carrying Interstate 55) downstream, and the "M Bridge," due to its distinctive shape.

 
The bridge is named for 16th century Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who traveled this stretch of the Mississippi River and died south of Memphis. His body was believed to have been buried in the Mississippi River after his death, although, according to legend, his body lay at the bottom of Lake Chicot in Arkansas, an oxbow lake of the Mississippi River at Lake Village.