National Park Service conducting a cultural study of the John Coffee Memorial Bridge

COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The John Coffee Memorial Bridge has stood six miles north of Cherokee since 1964. The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking to hear its story from community members.

The bridge spanning the Tennessee River was named for General John Coffee (1772-1833), who served in the War of 1812 under Andrew Jackson, did the original survey of the Tennessee Valley and planned the city ​​that would become the city of Florence.

John Coffee Memorial Bridge on the Natchez Trace Parkway

Over the past few years the bridge has shown signs of deterioration and a project team is determining if it can be rehabilitated or if it needs to be replaced. As part of the project, the team will conduct an environmental and

The NPS wants the public to participate in an ethnographic study of the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge as part of the process.

The study will help officials understand not only the John Coffee Bridge, but also the area around it.

The walk wants to hear from anyone with historical knowledge of the area, the construction of the bridge, or who has cultural or historical ties to the area. The information will help the project team identify areas that may need to be preserved or avoided.

Community knowledge will also help the park service understand the history of the Tennessee River and the Shoals area.

Anyone wishing to share their knowledge can contact Cheyenne Bennett by email at or call 662-808-7388.


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