Bridging the Mississippi: Spans across the Father of Waters portrays in words and stunning photographs the manmade structures that cross the nation's most important and, during the mid-nineteenth century, most daunting natural waterway.Philip Gould spent three years photographing Mississippi River bridges, from the Crescent City Connection in New Orleans to the span of boulders at the river's headwaters in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. This book features seventy-five of the river's more than 130 spans, progressing from south to north, in rural, small-town, and metropolitan settings. In every season and from numerous angles, Gould captured images of historical, architectural, and engineering significance as well as dramatic natural beauty. In addition, his photos reflect the many perspectives of people whose lives intersect with the bridges, including riverboat captains, construction workers, pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, wedding parties, recreational boaters and fishers, business owners, and train engineers. Margot Hasha offers a fascinating overview of bridge construction on the Mississippi, starting with the waterway's geology and the earliest-known settlement along the banks of Misi-ziibi, what Native Americans called the "father of waters." She discusses the impact of steel production on the expansion of railroad bridges, hazards encountered by river pilots today, the preservation of vintage structures, and the latest bridge designs. Hasha and Gould profile select crossings in eleven cities and towns, explaining each one's unique story and importance to its riverside community. Architectural and engineering feats; focal points for urban renewal; essential links in the nation's transportation and commerce; aesthetic frames for parks, riverwalks, and levee trails--the Mississippi River's bridges come into full focus in this visual tribute.