National Park Service seeks stakeholder stories connected to John Coffee Memorial Bridge

By  | September 29, 2022 | Filed under: News


TUPELO —The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking input from the public for an ethnographic study of the John Coffee Memorial Bridge on Natchez Trace Parkway. The purpose of the study is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the John Coffee Memorial Bridge and surrounding area as the Parkway initiates a project to repair or replace the bridge.

Built in 1964, the bridge is showing signs of deterioration that may require the complete rehabilitation or replacement of the bridge. In compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, the NPS has contracted WSP, an environmental and engineering firm, to conduct an Environmental Assessment and cultural resources studies. These studies include ethnographic research to determine the cultural and traditional significance of the bridge and surrounding area.

This effort will be led by New South Associates, Inc. (NSA), a subcontractor of WSP. The surrounding area maintains significant cultural and historical value for various groups of people. The Parkway and NSA will be reaching out to an extensive list of stakeholders for input during the design and compliance phases of the project.

The Parkway asks any individuals or organizations with historical knowledge of the project area, the construction of the bridge, or who have cultural or historical ties to the surrounding area, to reach out to Cheyenne Bennett at NSA, via email at or call 662-808-7388. Your participation is crucial in providing a comprehensive understanding of the John Coffee Memorial Bridge and surrounding area, as it could potentially help the project team identify resources requiring preservation and avoidance, and/or could lead to important additions to the interpretation and understanding of the history of the area.

Media Release/Mandi Toy/NPS

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