5 votes

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)


Side View

Photo taken by David Backlin in March 2007


BH Photo #125557


Street Views 


Formally dedicated and opened on August 10, 1940, the bridge served as part of the relocation of US 71 and US 190, allowing traffic to bypass the Baton Rouge-Port Allen ferry at the end of North Street. (US 71 was truncated to Krotz Springs in 1951.) The roadway is all outboard of the through truss . The railroad runs through the truss structure and the roadways are outboard the truss on cantilevered shelves, one two lane deck on each side of the bridge carrying one-way traffic.

The official name of the bridge was originally the "Huey P. Long-O.K. Allen Bridge", but it is now more commonly called the "Huey P. Long Bridge" and is identified as such on the bridge's signage.

This bridge was very similar to the Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish) before the Jefferson Parish structure underwent it circa 2010 widening. Before that the primary difference was that the Jefferson Parish H.P. Long Bridge has two rail tracks. Today the differences are more pronounced.

A 1989 project widened the bridge's roadways by 4 feet.


Cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River on US 190 and KCS Railway in Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
Open to traffic
Built 1940; widened 1989
- Bethlehem Steel Co. of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (Iron/Steel Manufacturer)
- C. G. Melville
- E. L. Durkee
- Harry Henderlite
- Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)
Cantilevered Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 747.8 ft.
Total length: 5,879.0 ft. (1.1 mi.)
Deck width: 47.9 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Old Bridge
Airline Highway Bridge
Old Mississippi River Bridge
Huey P. Long-O. K. Allen Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+30.50698, -91.19744   (decimal degrees)
30°30'25" N, 91°11'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/672976/3376346 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory number
BH 19003 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2018)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 93 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • November 24, 2021: Photo imported by Dave King
  • April 10, 2020: Updated by Brad Smith: Explained roadway lanes are outboard to the trusses.
  • March 19, 2020: Updated by Roger Collins: Added description text and moved some info originally in the History field.
  • March 22, 2017: New photos from M. D. Caillet
  • September 15, 2016: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • June 23, 2016: New photos from Roger Deschner
  • March 17, 2015: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • October 9, 2012: New photo from Jared Mixson
  • March 5, 2012: New photos from Ben Tate
  • September 17, 2011: New photo from Luke Harden
  • June 9, 2010: New Street View added by Cliff Darby
  • May 5, 2010: New photos from John T. Dauzat
  • October 6, 2008: New photo from David Backlin

Related Bridges 



Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted November 28, 2020, by gfalcon

The original railing was almost 100% identical to the I-10 Lake Charles bridge, except that fleur-de-lis were located in the exact same places where the sets of crossed pistols were put on the Lake Charles Bridge railing.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted March 19, 2019, by Joseph T Smith (littlered121040 [at] aol [dot] com)

This bridge had a metal railing decorated with flour-de-lis . This railing was replaced around 1990 . I salvaged 100's of the fleur-de-lis from this job and still have one or two !!!

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted June 23, 2016, by Kelly McClanahan

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.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted June 23, 2016, by Roger Deschner (rogerdeschner [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted November 6, 2014, by Benjamin (indyberryfarms [at] gmail [dot] com)

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.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted October 21, 2009, by Derek Pinsonat (dspinso [at] cox [dot] net)

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.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted August 9, 2009, by Jim Lueken (lueken [at] bellsouth [dot] net)

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.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Baton Rouge)
Posted February 3, 2009, by Mike (mikebon088 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Truss span lengths are 490', 848', 650', 848', and 490'. Engineering News Record had a detailed article on its design and construction.

Mississippi River US 190 Bridge
Posted November 2, 2008, by C. Childers (bobchilders [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge was built in 1940. Great site!

Mississippi River US 190 Bridge
Posted August 22, 2007, by Frank Sellke (franksellke [at] brueckenweb [dot] de)

a photo

Mississippi River US 190 Bridge
Posted September 20, 2006, by Paul Griffin (pgriffin40 [at] cox [dot] net)

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.