Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)

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This article is about a bridge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a second Huey P. Long Bridge is in Jefferson Parish.
Huey P. Long Bridge
Huey P Long Bridge Baton Rouge northwest 1.jpg
Huey P. Long Bridge from the northwest
Other name(s) Old Bridge
Carries 4 lanes of US 190
1 Kansas City Southern rail line
Crosses Mississippi River
Locale Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Maintained by Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development[citation needed]
ID number 611700071000001
Design Cantilever truss bridge
Total length 5,879 feet (1,792 m)
Clearance below 113 feet (34 m)
Construction cost $8.4 million[1]
Opened August 1940
Daily traffic 17,300
Coordinates 30°30′25″N 91°11′51″W / 30.50694°N 91.19750°W / 30.50694; -91.19750

The Huey P. Long Bridge is a truss cantilever bridge over the Mississippi River carrying US 190 (Airline Highway) and one rail line between East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana and West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana.

Although the bridge is named after former Louisiana governor Huey P. Long, it is known locally in the Baton Rouge Area as "the old bridge".[2] It is similar in design to the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Its lanes are very narrow and during inclement weather it has a tendency to ice over. Only one person is reported to have driven off the edge of the bridge. In 1945 a cargo truck driver headed eastbound careened off the sides. The driver fell through the windshield and was crushed on a dock as he landed before his truck on the same spot.[2] The scars from the accident can still be seen on the dock to one's right as approaching the east end of the eastbound span.

The bridge itself is currently in a poor state of repair; the girder foundations on both railroad approach spans are beginning to show hairline cracks, but engineers have reassured the city that the bridge is not in any imminent danger.[2] The bridge has been repainted several times since its construction, including in the mid-1960s when the bridge was repainted orange. The bridge was originally painted blue, but dust from the Kaiser Aluminum plant on the southeast bank of the river kept coating the bridge with aluminum oxide (bauxite). Finally, the state gave up trying to keep the bridge blue, and went with the orange color of the dust. [3] [4]

The bridge was once planned as part of an Interstate 410. The bridge is featured in a scene in the 1982 Richard Pryor film, The Toy.

See also[edit]

The entrance to the Kaiser Aluminum plant under the bridge in 1972

References[edit]

  1. ^ Will Sentel (3 December 2013), Old bridge getting new look, The Advocate, retrieved 7 August 2014 
  2. ^ a b c "Paint Party". The Riverside Reader. [Port Allen, LA] 1 Oct. 2012. Pg. 1. Print
  3. ^ AA Roads - US Highway 190 Mississippi River Bridge
  4. ^ John Weeks.com - Huey P. Long Bridge