2 votes

KCS - Atchafalaya River Bridge


View on top of LA 1 bridge looking North towards railroad bridge

Photo taken by John T. Dauzat


BH Photo #164188


Street Views 


This bridge has a "legend" of being haunted due to a train collision near it in August of 1951 where 8 people died. The bridge also carried auto traffic until the new bridge was built in 1971.


Written by James Rhed

Two 300 foot truss spans were added to the bridge on the West side of the river in 1938 to allow the cross section of the Atchafalaya River to be increased.


Through truss swing bridge over Atchafalaya River on Kansas City Southern Railroad (formerly also carried LA-1)
Simmesport, Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, and Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana
Open to traffic
- Harrington & Cortelyou of Kansas City
- Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)
- Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (LA)
Baltimore through truss
Also called
Old Atchafalaya Iron Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+30.98135, -91.79772   (decimal degrees)
30°58'53" N, 91°47'52" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/614803/3428154 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 45181 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 12, 2019: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Harrington & Cortelyou"
  • October 17, 2017: New photos from Jeff Dubea
  • March 31, 2017: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • February 28, 2017: Essay added by James Rhed
  • December 22, 2016: New photo from M. D. Caillet
  • December 12, 2015: New Street View added by Douglas Butler
  • June 16, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • January 2, 2013: Updated by Jared Mixson: Added additional info
  • May 19, 2010: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • May 5, 2010: Added by John T. Dauzat



KCS - Atchafalaya River Bridge
Posted April 7, 2021, by Jeff Dubea

Valarie Bookout, yes there is a vehicle bridge and the old train bridge. The old train bridge is the one that also carried automobile traffic for years, of which I hear stories.

KCS - Atchafalaya River Bridge
Posted June 10, 2019, by Valerie Bookout (vkbookout [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I found a postcard in my grandmother's photos showing a bridge like this being built at Simmesport in 1937. She wrote on the back that my grandfather, Bill Icenberger was the carpenter foreman (for the concrete forms). Is there an auto bridge and a railroad bridge at Simmesport?

KCS - Atchafalaya River Bridge
Posted October 17, 2017, by Jeff Dubea (jeffdubea [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I am from Avoyelles Parish, and I have heard many stories from older folks about driving cars over this bridge before the LA 1 bridge was built. My father remembers having to fold in his truck mirror when meeting another truck on the bridge, as it was a narrow road set around the tracks.

Old Atchafalaya Iron Bridge/K.C.S. Atchafalaya Railroad bridge
Posted January 1, 2013, by Jared Mixson

Bruce is correct. Bing Maps still shows Gremillion St. crossing on this bridge although the road deck has long since been removed. You can still see some of the pilings.

Old Atchafalaya Iron Bridge/K.C.S. Atchafalaya Railroad bridge
Posted January 13, 2012, by Britton (Bbullock1982 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I've worked on this bridge and was on the turnspan part in operation. It is pretty neat to see something so old work like it does.

Old Atchafalaya Iron Bridge/K.C.S. Atchafalaya Railroad bridge
Posted May 12, 2011, by Bruce Cannon (rbcannon [at] earthlink [dot] net)

Is this the bridge built in 1928 jointly by the State of Louisiana and the L&A railroad that also carried LA Hwy 1 across the Atchafalaya? I have early childhood memories of driving across that bridge.