Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


As a result of its expansion to both the northern and southern banks of the James River, the city of Richmond, Virginia, has been obliged to construct a number of bridges in order to provide a link between the two parts of the city. There are now four such structures connecting north and south Richmond, the eldest dating back to the eighteenth century, with the most recent having been erected as recently as 1934. In the pages that follow it shall be our purpose to tell the story of these four spans not only from the point of view of the historian, but from that of the political scientist as well. For these structures play a vital role in the day to day administration of the city, a role of which, unfortunately, the average citizen who daily rides or walks across them is pathetically unaware. Not a few of Richmond's residents would be shocked to know of the tremendous cost to their city of repairs to the out-moded Ninth Street Bridge, or would feel pride in the manner in which Robert E. Lee Bridge was efficiently conceived, constructed, and operated.