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Thank you for visiting our website, supporting the Walnut Street Bridge and becoming part of our family by purchasing a dedicated plaque on The Bridge.

The Walnut Street Bridge is Tennessee’s oldest non-military highway bridge still in use today, restored and revitalized as a pedestrian bridge and linear park. In only a generation, The Bridge has become the centerpiece and a vital connector of Chattanooga’s riverfront renaissance, linking the city’s vibrant North Shore with the Bluff View Arts District, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Tennessee Riverwalk and the Tennessee Aquarium. Like the city’s own rebirth, The Bridge’s story is also one of decline and revival.

Since 1978, when it was closed to traffic for safety reasons after serving Chattanooga for 87 years, the Walnut Street Bridge sat disabled, deteriorating, dormant and yet another reminder of the city's decaying downtown. By the late 1980s, the city had taken steps to demolish the downtrodden bridge, but lacked the funding. Before officials could dismantle the bridge, however, a community campaign comprised of visionary activists, civic leaders and historic preservationists banded together to save the bridge, envisioning it as a vibrant pedestrian bridge that could help propel a downtown renaissance. After nominating the bridge as an historic landmark, work began to raise the millions necessary to restore The Bridge as a pedestrian walkway, partially funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation grant and with the support of hundreds of thousands of dollars from Chattanoogans.

When the restored Walnut Street Bridge opened in 1993 to much fanfare, the “linear park” soon quickly realized the hopes of its restorers as a dynamic symbol of the rebirth of Chattanooga, and became a “bridge” to the revitalized riverfront and downtown. In the years since the original restoration campaign, the Walnut Street Bridge has emerged as a vibrant and dynamic symbol of the spirit of Chattanooga. The Bridge has established itself as not only a highly visible landmark and center of community activity, but as the connecting element between Chattanooga’s internationally acclaimed riverfront renaissance and the exciting North Shore, a landmark linking public parks and pedestrian walkways on the revitalized North Shore with the Tennessee Aquarium, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the Tennessee Riverwalk, which extends some seven miles to the Chickamauga Dam. Besides its near constant daily use, The Bridge has become a favorite venue for events and activities of every kind and description.

Guests enjoy the view from The Bridge during the annual Wine Over Water festival.

In addition to near constant daily use, The Bridge has become a favorite venue for events and activities of every kind and description. From annual events such as Riverbend, Wine Over Water and Octoberfest, to dozens of smaller events, "The Walking Bridge" is a popular spot to simply stroll, relax and enjoy the natural and urban beauty of Chattanooga — a true renaissance city.

The Bridge is open year-round, free to the public and is completely ADA compliant. Pets are welcome!

Although we frequently update our website, please take the time to “like” our Facebook page As a “fan” of our page, you’ll be kept up to date on all the latest news and events about The Bridge. We also encourage you to use this forum to ask us questions about The Bridge, share your stories and photos and meet old and new friends who share your passion for this iconic and historic jewel of Chattanooga. Visit often!

If you have not already done so, please consider making a donation and receiving a dedicated plaque inscribed with your name, your family, organization, event or in honor of a loved one. For $100, your plaque will join the hundreds of others we are adding to The Bridge to replace the original brass plaques offered during the original rededication of the restored bridge 20 years ago. If you purchased one of the original brass plaques, we’ve recovered many and are offering them to their original owners as a framed memento. For more information on the plaques, click here.

See you on The Bridge!
© 2011 The Parks Foundation Email The Parks Foundation