“Advice From A River” – by IIan Shamir
This is a night shot of the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge taken from our hotel on the Mississippi side of the Mississippi River. This twin bridge carries nearly 30,000 vehicles traveling on US Routes 65, 84, and 425 across the Mississippi River from Vidalia, Louisiana, to Natchez, Mississippi, every day. The twin bridges appear similar, but were built nearly 50 years apart. The original span was built in 1940 and has two 8-foot lanes with no shoulders. Over time the bridge became overwhelmed with traffic, so a parallel bridge was built just downstream of the original bridge to separate westbound and eastbound traffic. Completed in 1988, the eastbound bridge has two 11-foot lanes with shoulders. This is actually the tallest bridge in Mississippi.
The City of Vidalia and the State of Mississippi collaborated to add lighting to the twin spans in hopes that it would become an area scenic attraction. The Mississippi DOT agreed to pay for the $3-million project, providing that the city supplied the electrical power for the lights. This project was completed in 2010.
You’ve seen on previous blogs that I am a member of the Motormaids. This is a women’s motorcycling organization, established in 1940 with over 1200 members across the United States and Canada. As a Motormaid, you have an opportunity to ride, travel, and get to know great people all across North America. Whenever I have gone to an event in Florida, I found it is not unusual to find women from many other states in attendance. With this in mind, I pulled out my Motormaid calendar. The idea was to find something that fell between May and October that was reachable in a 7 to 10 day vacation plan. The Arkansas/Louisiana/Mississippi Motormaid District had just the thing May 22-25. The event was called “Maids on the Trace.” This was to be a “4 day adventure from Natchez to Nashville…444 miles along the famous Natchez Trace Parkway with many stops in between.” So my husband, being the planner, began the e-mails and phone calls to secure reservations and map out routes so that we would arrive in Natchez in time to join in this adventure. And this is how I found myself at this spot, our first night in Natchez, to take this picture.