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.)
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
Cantilevered through truss bridge over the Mississippi River on US 90 in Jefferson
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
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
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
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