Yep, I noticed they had had curtains and stuff draped under it over the roadway and were doing some work. I have pictures of that somewhere. It's a really pretty greenish color with a semi-metallic sheen. I like it!
Apparently this bridge got a new paint job at some point. It's a khaki color now.
This bridge has always been a major landmark in my life, and is probably most responsible for spawning my interest in bridges, particularly truss bridges. We lived in Arkansas for several years before moving back to Tennessee, and so we crossed it several times a year to visit family. I still cross it occasionally on trips, especially on bridge tours of Arkansas and Missouri. They're doing some work on it right now and have the right lanes closed and some curtains hanging on it here and there.
There has been some discussion as to whether or not the Caruthersville Bridge is in fact a cantilever bridge. Someone commented that it looked more like a continuous truss like the Chester Bridge http://www.bridgehunter.com/il/randolph/chester/ , but I've had a chance to look into it a little deeper, and I can assure you it is without a doubt a cantilever bridge.
Refer to the overview photo at the top of this page. Notice how the diagonals shift direction about three-quarter-way across the left (east) span. Also notice the unusually thick bracing at that point. This is where the half-suspended span (cf. Thebes Bridge http://www.bridgehunter.com/il/alexander/thebes/ and Milton-Madison Bridge http://www.bridgehunter.com/in/jefferson/madison/ ) connects to the cantilever arm. The shorter span on the right (west) of the center pier is the anchor arm. There is a photograph hanging in the office of the Bunge facility next to the bridge of construction in progress on the cantilever arm.
This is a more modern truss bridge than most of the ones I devote attention to, so it doesn't have the pretty cross-lacing or the built-up look. In fact, the truss members look quite thin and delicate from the outside. The thing about it, though, is that there are so many of them! I've scarcely seen so much subdivision and intricate sway bracing on a bridge.
The National Bridge Inventory lists the navigational clearance as 51.8 feet (15.8 Meters). Actual clearance may be somewhat different, but I would expect that this should be what boats are supposed to obey.
Wasn't this the bridge the barge hit that's in the news? Question,what is the clearance from water to deck of the bridge? Thanks.