Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

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Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
Atchafalaya Bridge.jpg
Other name(s) 20 mile bridge
Carries 4 lanes of I‑10
Crosses Atchafalaya Basin
Locale Iberville Parish / St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA
Maintained by LA DOTD
Total length 96,095 ft (29,290 m)
Opened 1973
Coordinates 30°19′57″N 91°45′33″W / 30.33250°N 91.75917°W / 30.33250; -91.75917

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge,[1] is a pair of parallel bridges in the U.S. state of Louisiana between Baton Rouge and Lafayette which carries Interstate 10 over the Atchafalaya Basin. With a total length of 96,095 feet (29,290 m) or 18.2 miles, it is the second-longest bridge in the US and fourteenth-longest in the world by total length.

The bridge includes two exits: one for Whiskey Bay (LA 975) and another for Butte La Rose (LA 3177). While the bridges run parallel for most of their length, they merge when crossing the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel and the Atchafalaya River. The average daily traffic count is (as of 2011) 24,540 vehicles.

Accidents occur frequently near the two river crossings as both are very narrow and lack shoulders.[2] In 1999, Governor Mike Foster lowered the speed limit on the bridge from 70 MPH to 60 MPH. In 2003, the Louisiana Legislature enacted new traffic regulations for the bridge. The speed limit for 18-wheelers was lowered to 55 MPH, and they must remain in the right lane while crossing the bridge.[3]

Bridge renamed[edit]

The United States Army Airborne Forces (paratroopers and glider soldiers) was created by executive order and the 82nd Airborne Division was formed at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana in March 1942. One of the main objectives of the division, and all airborne divisions was for paratroopers and glider borne forces to seize bridges for regular follow on forces to use. The 82nd Airborne Division Association put forth a challenge in 1988, to member chapters in all states, to pursue having a bridge in their state designated as an Airborne Memorial Bridge.

The Acadiana Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association, created January 1980, in Lafayette, Louisiana with headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana,[4] petitioned the Louisiana Legislature and on July 10, 1989, act 793 was passed, and the bridge was renamed the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge.

Welcome center[edit]

There is a visitors center at mile marker 121 (La. 3177), with 18 wheeler parking, and the Acadiana chapter secured funding to erect a monument to the 82nd Airborne Division which was dedicated on October 20, 1990.[5]

Bridge condition[edit]

A September 2010, inspection showed the deck condition rating: satisfactory (6 out of 9), the superstructure condition rating: satisfactory (6 out of 9), the substructure condition rating: satisfactory (6 out of 9), and the sufficiency rating: 92.9 (out of 100)[6]

Cameras[edit]

Cameras are mounted on the bridge (viewable to the public) at the beginning of the west side at mile marker 121 (La 3177) east[7] and west,[8] at mile marker 124.5 east[9] and west,[10] at mile marker 127 (Whiskey Bay and La 975) east[11] and west,[12] at mile marker 131.5 (Butte Larose east[13] and west,[14] and at the east end at mile marker 135 (La 3000/Ramah rd) east[15] and west[16]

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, I-10, Whiskey Bay

See also[edit]

References[edit]

References
  1. ^ KATC; Bridge has second name- Retrieved 2013-04-18
  2. ^ National speed trap exchange; accidents on the bridge- Retrieved 2013-04-19
  3. ^ "Truckers Obey Law on Atchafalaya Bridge," Lake Charles American-Press, October 26, 2003
  4. ^ 82nd Airborn Association- Retrieved 2013-04-19
  5. ^ [acadianaairbornechapter.org/id8.htm Memorial monument]- Retrieved 2013-04-19
  6. ^ Bridgehunter; Basin bridge- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  7. ^ (mm 127 -east)- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  8. ^ Camera (mm 121 -west)- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  9. ^ Camera; (mm 124.5- east) - Retrieved 2013-04-13
  10. ^ Camera; (mm 124.5- west)- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  11. ^ Camera @ mm 127 east- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  12. ^ Camera @ mm 127 west- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  13. ^ Camera (mm 131.5- east)- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  14. ^ Camera (mm131.5- west- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  15. ^ Camera (mm 135- east- Retrieved 2013-04-16
  16. ^ Camera (mm 135- west)- Retrieved 2013-04-16