Atchafalaya Basin Bridge turns 50

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The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is 50 years old, and Deidra Druilhet with the Department of Transportation and Development said while many Louisianans have traveled across it many don’t know the history of its construction and how it was dredged first.

“In terms of those canals those totaled about 40 miles in order to allow the service work to be done for that particular project,” said Druilhet.

In addition to prepping the canals for the project, Druilhet said the amount of materials used is significant, 174 miles of piling and 170 miles of prestress concrete girders for a structure that’s only 18 miles long.

“When you look at it, this type of structure is really what you would consider during that time, an engineering marvel. Because we didn’t have the type of mechanisms that we do today in terms of how we build our bridge structures,” said Druilhet.

Druilhet said approximately 60-thousand vehicles use the bridge daily to cross the Atchafalaya River.

“This is a key connection not only just between Lafayette and Baton Rouge but also think about those motorists who are coming from the western side of the state and the eastern side or even from other connecting states,” said Druilhet.

In honor of the anniversary, DOTD created a view depicting the construction, click here.

 

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