Horace Wilkinson Bridge
|Horace Wilkinson Bridge|
Horace Wilkinson from the southeast
|Other name(s)||The New Bridge, Mississippi River Bridge|
|Carries||6 lanes of I‑10|
|Locale||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Total length||4,550 feet (1,387 m) (superstructure)
14,150 feet (4,313 m) (overall)
|Width||80 feet (24 m)|
|Longest span||1,235 feet (376 m)|
|Clearance below||175 feet (53 m)|
|Construction cost||$41 million|
|Opened||April 10, 1968|
|Daily traffic||107,000 (2005)|
The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is a cantilever bridge carrying Interstate 10 in Louisiana across the Mississippi River from Port Allen in West Baton Rouge Parish to Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish. Around the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area, the bridge is more commonly known as the "New Bridge" because it is the younger of the two bridges that cross the river in Baton Rouge. The structure begins at the Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) exit south of Port Allen. After the interstate crosses the superstructure, it remains an elevated viaduct up to the Dalrymple Drive exit to Louisiana State University. It is the highest bridge on the Mississippi River.
The bridge is named after three separate Horace Wilkinsons who served a total of 54 years in the Louisiana legislature. Horace Wilkinson, along with his son and grandson, were honored with the naming of the I-10 bridge by Act 206 of the Louisiana Legislature in 1968.
Locally it is notorious for daily traffic snags for several reasons. Eastbound congestion occurs when congestion, created upstream, stretches through the I-10/I-110 junction, persists since I-10 narrows to just one lane at the I-110 South merge. This congestion is not helped by local traffic from I-110 South exiting at Washington Street crossing the only lane of I-10. Sherri LeBas, secretary for the state Department of Transportation and Development, said that as of November 2013 LaDOT is not looking at widening or modernizing the I-10/I-110 interchange citing cost. Instead, the state will modernize LA 1 from I-10 to US-190 to encourage detours to the less congested Huey Long Bridge  . Westbound congestion occurs from slower traffic entering from the short transition zone of the St. Ferdinand Street entrance ramp and the narrowing of I-10 when it loses a lane to exit at LA 1. Around October 2003, the I-10E/I-110S merge was re-striped to reduce I-110 South from three lanes to two lanes, allowing I-10 its own lane, no longer mandating I-10 East commuters to shift to the left to continue on I-10 East.
In August 2010, the I-10 West exit to LA 1 was restriped to disallow the center lane from exiting. This change has since been reverted.
Also, the signs on the bridge were replaced, including new signs that say Horace Wilkinson Bridge, EBR and WBR Parish, and Mississippi River. To add to that, new reflectors were put onto the Capital City Expressway. and new paintings on the road show the LA 1 exit only lane and the I-110 N exit only lane. Finally, they also show which lanes are for I-10 easily because the road has paintings saying I-10 with an arrow above it.
- The world's longest cantilever road bridges, roadtraffic-technology.com, 21 February 2014, retrieved 6 August 2014
- LADOTD Frequently Asked Questions - What is the history of the Lil Boosie in Baton Rouge?
- http://michaelminn.net/america/bridges/horace_wilkinson_bridge/[dead link]
- Jeff, Roedel (September 29, 2006). "It’s not ‘the new bridge’ after all". 225 Baton Rouge (Louisiana Business Inc). Retrieved 2012-12-17.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Horace Wilkinson Bridge.|
- Horace Wilkinson Bridge by John Weeks