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Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)


Approaching the bridge below the south rail approach

Photo taken by Nathan Morton in July 2010


BH Photo #169431

Street Views 


Crossing the Huey P. Long Bridge on Amtrak's Sunset Limited

May 11, 2012

Amtrak's westbound Sunset Limited crosses the Huey P. Long bridge while leaving the Big Easy (New Orleans). We pass a Union Pacific Manifest train as we descend back on to land. (Good view of bridge structure from rear window of train.)

YouTube user bcanedy

Play video

Huey Long Bridge - Full 3D

HNTB's 3D animation of engineering for rehabilitation of the Huey P. Long Bridge. Animation shows unique truss lift approach.

HNTB Corporation

Play video on YouTube


Combination 2 track rail bridge with 3 traffic lanes on either side of rail roads. Rail portion is mostly unchanged from the thirties. The roadway has undergone almost complete reconstruction. Bridge was originally built with narrow cantilevered roadway decks outside the trusses on the main spans. Rail component was inside the original through truss section. Main spans were rebuilt in 2010's adding trusses around the traffic lanes and widening the roadway significantly. The approaches were rebuilt as well.

During the design for the rebuild / upgrade of the bridge, innovative techniques such as soil testing, research, and experimentation were undertaken by Moran to determine the best course of action. Additionally, a new type of caisson was developed, along with Siemes-Helmer’s “sand island” pier foundations, to successfully construct the bridge’s foundations. The innovative engineering techniques used in the construction of the bridge were recognized in 2012 when it was designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, citing it as “an example of how engineers push the limits of their knowledge of materials, design theories, and methods to advance the state of the art of engineering.”

From Louisiana Statewide Historic Bridge Inventory. The included quote is from:

Louisiana Timed Managers, “Huey P. Long Bridge Dedicated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark,” press release dated 28 September 2012

The entire bridge is owned by the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), which is owned by the City of New Orleans and managed by the Public Belt Railroad Commission. The center railroad portion of the bridge is maintained by NOPB RR, and the outer highway lanes are maintained by the Louisiana Department of Transportation. The Sunset Limited passenger train has crossed this bridge since it opened in 1935, and continues to cross it today under Amtrak management.


Cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River on US 90 and NOPB Railroad in Jefferson
Bridge City, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Open to traffic
Opened to traffic December 16, 1935; widening completed June 16, 2013
- Modjeski & Masters of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
- Moran and Proctor of New York, NY (foundation design)
- Ralph Modjeski of Bochnia, Poland (Chief Engineer)
- Amtrak (AMTK)
- New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB)
Cantilevered through truss-Approaches are Warren deck truss all verticals, Deck plate girders, concrete stringers, steel stringers
Length of largest span: 790.0 ft.
Total length: 22,996.0 ft. (4.4 mi.)
Deck width: 84.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+29.94500, -90.16833   (decimal degrees)
29°56'42" N, 90°10'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/773314/3316063 (zone/easting/northing)
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
Inventory number
BH 19034 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of November 2017)
Overall condition: Fair
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Good (7 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 63.2 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • December 10, 2021: Updated by Roger Deschner: Added categories "New Orleans Public Belt Railroad", "Amtrak". Changed ownership to NOPB RR.
  • November 7, 2020: New photo from Gregory Grice
  • April 10, 2020: Updated by Brad Smith: Removed my own redundancy.
  • February 20, 2020: Document added by Clark Vance
  • February 20, 2020: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • June 12, 2019: Updated by Clark Vance: Added Moran and Proctor as foundation designer
  • April 2, 2017: New video from Roger Deschner
  • January 11, 2017: Updated by Christopher Finigan: Added categories "Pin-connected", "Riveted"
  • January 10, 2017: Updated by Royce and Bobette Haley: added approaches
  • February 17, 2014: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Widened"
  • August 1, 2013: New photo from M. D. Caillet
  • June 21, 2013: New photos from Jared Mixson
  • June 20, 2013: Updated by Jared Mixson: widening completed
  • December 12, 2012: New photo from Jared Mixson
  • October 15, 2012: New photo from Jared Mixson
  • September 19, 2012: New photo from Jared Mixson
  • February 2, 2012: Updated by James Baughn: Designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
  • July 10, 2010: New photo from Nathan Morton
  • July 8, 2010: New photos from Nathan Morton
  • April 19, 2010: New Street View added by Nathan Holth



Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted April 27, 2015, by Luke
Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted June 20, 2013, by Jared Mixson
Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted September 20, 2012, by Brad Smith (gaberdine [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Is a discussion and notes page for the widening of this bridge. It is a unique widening of the truss structure while the bridge remains open.

Really a neat concept

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted February 3, 2012, by Dan Crawford

The middle cantilevered span is fascinating. I have not noticed one like it before.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted November 20, 2010, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

An engineering description of the project:


Mainly a railroad bridge, the auto lanes were 1930s 18 foot with pipe railing. It was a pretty exciting motorcycle ride: massive steel and perhaps a train along one side and barely anything between you and the river far below on the other side.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted July 12, 2010, by D. W. Adams (weetbixmarmite [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Their renderings seem to show that they're taking great care to copy the existing design in the expansion, right down to the beam stylings and cross-lacing. Is this true? It seems to me that they expect the structure to last forever as rarely do I see anyone make such a large investment to remodel an existing bridge (especially one 75 years old!) in favor of new construction! Then again, rail bridges do seem to last nearly forever just because of how their built and the matter-of-fact way in which rail companies keep them maintained.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted July 10, 2010, by Todd (mrwalk08 [at] aol [dot] com)

This bridge is going through a dramatic transformation to say the least. Trusses added to the roadways, makes awesome sense. Will be a neat crossing once it is all done.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted April 19, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This is an incredible bridge! Adding some Street Views to show this.

Huey P. Long Bridge (Jefferson Parish)
Posted March 13, 2010, by Brad Smith (bwana39 [at] yahoo [dot] com)
Huey P. Long Bridge
Posted November 26, 2006, by Cajundweeb (cajundweeb [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is currently undertaking a project to widen the vehicular lanes on the span. The project will take a while, so if you need to cross via the Huey P Long bridge, exercise caution while they work on it!

Huey P. Long Bridge
Posted May 4, 2006, by Harvey Henkelman

Longest railroad bridge in the US