Crittenden County Museum to tour Mississippi River

Free field trip to see crested flood waters

By Ralph Hardin ralphhardin@gmail.com

The Crittenden County Museum is planning a field trip this Saturday to see the Mississippi River crest at one of the highest levels in the recorded history of the river. This Saturday, Jan. 9, 11 a.m., the museum is hosting a trip to the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge to see the swollen banks and marvel at the sheer volume of what a 43-plus foot high river looks like. Admission is free, but registration is required. Group size is limited to the first 12 participants. Museum director Thomas Machnitzki will serve as tour guide. “Come join us on an adventurous field trip,” said Machnitzki. “On Saturday, the Mississippi River is expected to reach its crest of 43.50 feet at Memphis. This is not high enough to cause much property damage in our area but the land between the river and the Arkansas levee is going to be covered with water and it is impressive to see the forces of nature in action.” Machnitzki said the one-of-a-kind tour is a rare opportunity to see the river waters this high. “We are going to see the flood from a unique perspective, crossing the mighty Mississippi River on foot, walking on the pedestrian walkways of the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge that carries I-55 aross the Mississippi River,” he said. “Not only will we see the dramatic extent of the flooding, we will also get a close-up view of the Frisco Bridge and the Harahan Bridge — the two historic railroad bridges across the river. Uou will discover a new perspective of Memphis and see some of the progress on the bicycle trail project between Memphis and West Memphis.” Machnitzki said participants shoult be prepared for about 60-90 minutes of slow, easy walking and standing. “Most surfaces are paved but we may need to cross over grassy or gravel surfaces for a few yards. We would not be protected from wind on the bridge, so be sure to wear warm and windproof clothing. This tour is not recommended if you are afraid of heights or for children under 12. There is no wheelchair access to the bridge. As a formality, I must mention that participation is at your own risk and parents are responsible for their children.” Anyone interested in participating in the tour is instructed to register by Friday, Jan. 8. This is only needed to know the group size. The group will meet at E. H. Crump Park, located on Metal Museum Drive in Memphis. Directions: From Arkansas, take I-55 south. Immediately after crossing the river, take the first exit 12C to Metal Museum Drive, turn right on Alston Avenue, turn right on Metal Museum Drive, E. H. Crump Park is to your left. Please do not park in the hotel parking lot. To register or for more information, check out the Crittenden County Museum Facebook page, or call (870) 792-7374.

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