Atchafalaya Basin Bridge

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Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
Atchafalaya Bridge.jpg
Coordinates30°19′57″N 91°45′33″W / 30.33250°N 91.75917°W / 30.33250; -91.75917
Carries4 lanes of I-10
CrossesAtchafalaya Basin
LocaleIberville Parish / St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, USA
Other name(s)20 Mile Bridge
Maintained byLA DOTD
ID numberBH 46720
Characteristics
DesignStringer
Total length96,095 ft (29,290 m)
Width40.0ft
History
Opened1973
Statistics
Daily traffic30,420 daily (2015)
TollNone

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 3rd longest bridge in the US and the second longest on the interstate system and fourteenth-longest in the world by total length.

The bridge was opened to the public in 1973, construction was said to have begun in 1971. At the time of its completion, it was the longest bridge in the United States.

The bridge includes two exits: one for Whiskey Bay (Louisiana Highway 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 2015) 30,420 vehicles.

Accidents occur frequently near the two river crossings as both are very narrow and lack shoulders.[2] Accidents along the bridge can be problematic as the Atchafalaya Basin is sparsely inhabited. 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 visitor's center at mile marker 121 (La. 3177), with 18-Wheeler parking. 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]

As of 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]

There are multiple 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
Atchafalaya Basin Bridge - Highlighting Earth Curvature

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ KATC; Bridge has second name Archived November 11, 2013, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 18 April 2013
  2. ^ National speed trap exchange; accidents on the bridge- Retrieved 19 April 2013
  3. ^ "Truckers Obey Law on Atchafalaya Bridge," Lake Charles American-Press, October 26, 2003
  4. ^ 82nd Airborne Association- Retrieved 19 April 2013
  5. ^ [acadianaairbornechapter.org/id8.htm Memorial monument]- Retrieved 19 April 2013
  6. ^ Bridgehunter; Basin bridge- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  7. ^ (mm 127 -east)[permanent dead link]- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  8. ^ Camera (mm 121 -west) Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  9. ^ Camera; (mm 124.5- east) Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine – Retrieved 13 April 2013
  10. ^ Camera; (mm 124.5- west) Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  11. ^ Camera @ mm 127 east Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  12. ^ Camera @ mm 127 west Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  13. ^ Camera (mm 131.5- east) Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  14. ^ Camera (mm131.5- west Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  15. ^ Camera (mm 135- east Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013
  16. ^ Camera (mm 135- west) Archived February 22, 2014, at the Wayback Machine- Retrieved 16 April 2013