Keesler Bridge serves as the main corridor into downtown Greenwood, and is a swing-type bridge called a Howe Truss. Built in 1924, it has carried traffic across the Yazoo River for generations of travelers. Designated as a Mississippi Landmark, Keesler Bridge suffered from a lack of maintenance and disrepair, making its future uncertain.
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The preservation of Keesler Bridge sets a powerful example of what can be accomplished when good causes bring concerned citizens together. After being listed in 1999 on the MHT’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Places list, the Keesler Bridge was given a new lease on life in 2000, when major grants from MDOT and MDAH made that possible. The Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History awarded a $256,000 Mississippi Landmark Grant to the City of Greenwood and Leflore County for the Keesler Bridge. These funds were used in conjunction with a $1.2 million TEA-21 grant awarded by the Mississippi Department of Transportation to restore this significant piece of historic engineering.
The bridge was reopened in September of 2003 to universal acclaim. Keesler Bridge now serves as a tourist attraction for the area and carries approximately 8,500 cars and trucks across the Yazoo River on a daily basis. The bridge sits solid, strong, and sound and is beloved by its community. The bridge is used prominently in the City of Greenwood’s promotional materials. “I am happy to report the Keesler Bridge is just as beautiful today as it was when first constructed in 1925,” says local resident and community activist Allan Hammons.