The Old Vicksburg Mississippi River Bridge

The old Highway 80 bridge over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg is now closed to vehicular traffic although the railroad still uses it. It is so narrow that big cargo trailers routinely had to rub tires on the siderails and then only cleared each other by inches. This often happened at speeds that made being anywhere close to them dangerous. The towboats have to shoot two sets of piers (the old bridge and the new I-20 bridge next door). Going upstream is no problem. However, going downstream means negotiating a ninety degree bend just above the bridge and then lining up to make it under the two bridges. I watch in utter amazement as the captains make the bend and shoot the bridges without slowing down. It is equally amazing watching those with less experience try to make the turn and thread the eye of the piers. Once in a while a tow hits the old bridge and scatters barges for miles downriver.

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