All I have ever seen of this bridge is in pictures. However, in one of my [KCS] Railroad books, this is the "ruling grade" (steepest) for that sub-division. In other words, the steepest grade in the state of LA for the Kansas City Southern, is a bridge.
There's plenty of good photos of the top side of this bridge (especially thanks to Royce and Bobette Hailey!) but few underneath. So I hope to have done that on a recent visit.
It's a fascinating, gigantic bridge, on which Baton Rouge hopes to route more traffic after the current rehabilitation is complete, due to severe congestion on the I-10 bridge. Compared to I-10, the US 190 HPL bridge is relatively under-utilized. Route LA-1, which connects the west ends of both this bridge and the I-10 bridge, has been widened to 4 lanes. Airline Highway and LA-1 now form a complete loop around the north side of metro Baton Rouge, across this bridge, bypassing the congestion on I-10.
So this latest chapter in the history of the Baton Rouge HPL bridge parallels (again) the history of the New Orleans HPL bridge, which was recently rehabilitated to relieve traffic congestion on the other, newer, Mississippi River bridges.
this bridge is currently being repainted a grey color....the orange paint is being removed. I always understood that the orange paint was chosen because of the bauxite dust from the former Kaiser aluminum plant near the bridge coating the structure and "painting" it orange no matter what the actual color was. But....that could have just been my grandfather (who worked at the old Ethyl chemical plant) pulling my leg.
This bridge has a single rail line. The HPL in New Orleans has dual rail lines. The mention of 1989 may be from when the roadways were widened.
A real workhorse of a bridge! Two train tracks PLUS two vehicular lanes along both sides (4 total lanes for cars) Narrow lanes are less than 9' wide! Very scary with big trucks and cars and trains. I suggest adult diapers for the driver and passengers just keep eyes closed during crossing! See YouTube for videos.
Truss span lengths are 490', 848', 650', 848', and 490'. Engineering News Record had a detailed article on its design and construction.
This bridge was built in 1940. Great site!
This bridge was completed and open to traffic approximately in 1940 not 1989. My father helped construct the substructure of the bridge which is why I was born in Baton Rouge in 1938.