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Edmund Pettus Bridge

Selma, Dallas County, Alabama, 36703

Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, Alabama
Photo: License: Public Domain
The Edmund Pettus Bridge carries U.S. Route 80 Business across the Alabama River in Selma, Alabama.
Built in 1940, it is named after Edmund Winston Pettus, a former Confederate brigadier general, U.S. senator, and leader of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. It was the site of the conflict of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, when police attacked Civil Rights Movement demonstrators with horses, billy clubs, and tear gas as they were attempting to march to the state capital, Montgomery. The marchers crossed the bridge again on March 21 and walked to the Capitol building.

The bridge is a steel through arch bridge with a central span of 250 feet (76 m). Nine large concrete arches support the bridge and roadway on the east side. The bridge carries four lanes of U.S. Route 80 Business over the Alabama River, from Selma on the west side, to points east. The bridge has a total of 11 spans. It has 10 smaller concrete spans, while the main span in the center, over the river, is made of steel.

Because Selma is built on a bluff over the river, the west side of the bridge is higher than the east side. The center of the bridge is 100 ft (30 m) over the river. In 2011, the bridge was listed as functionally obsolete, meaning that it does not meet current design standards for its current traffic load.

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Edmund Pettus Bridge

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