Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!

U S 70 - West Memphis, Ar

Recommended Posts

My daughter and I turned a visit to the old Memphis-Arkasas Speedway track west of W. Memphis into an exploration of the alignment of old U S 70 thru W. Memphis.

First a word about the speedway. This was a 1½ mile, high banked, dirt track opened in 1952, but closed in 1957. There will be more on my yankeetraveller web site, so I won't go into it here. Except to say that access to the old track is thru the current owners back yard, but we were greeted warmly by the owners son who lives next to the track and invited to return when it was not flooded and muddy as it is at the moment due to a two day heavy rain.

After leaving the track we headed east on U S 70, which runs in front of the track, into West Memphis down Broadway, past the Riverside Motor sports track to the end of Broadway at I-55. At that point there is an entrance ramp to I-55, which also may be the 1949 entrance to the current I-55 bridge, the Memphis-Arkasas Memorial Bridge. To get onto Broadway coming west from Memphis you use a left hand exit, a little bit west of the east bound entrance. Most of Broadway thru W. Memphis is 4-lane, and is currently being widened, probably to make possible center turn lanes.

About a mile after entering I-55 eastbound there is an exit (1) at Bridgeport. This allows you access to a gravel road that runs down under the highway and two railroad bridges. Despite the rain previously, this gravel road was very accessible to my daughters Honda CRV with full time 4-WD - I'm not really sure I'd want to drive my '97 Caddy over it - tho the gravel road was in excellent conditon - especially where we went to get up onto the old 70 entrance to the Harahan Bridge.

There are currently 4 bridges across the Mississippi, as follows south to north: southernmost is the Memphis-Arkansas Memorial Bridge, built in 1949 for auto traffic, today carrying I-55 and several U S routes, next up-river is the Frisco (or Memphis) railroad bridge opened May 12, 1892; then comes the Harahan Bridge opened July 14, 1916. In 1926 wings were added to each side of this bridge with a planked floor and used to carry auto traffic until 1949. The 4th bridge, further north is the I-40 Hernando DeSoto Bridge.

More info on this trip will be found on my yankeetraveller web site (as soon as I get busy and finish writing it up) @ http://www.freewebs.com/yankeetraveller/index.htm - click on "Memphis Day Trips" and scroll down to Memphis-Arkansas Speedway and old U S 70. I'll have it done up shortly. My daughter has to downsize some of the photos she took and I need to have a 35 mm film that I took.


Happy Traveling



Alex Burr

Edited by hester_nec
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...