Luling Bridge
The Luling Bridge (also known as the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge) is a cable-stayed bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana. It is named for the late United States Congressman Hale Boggs. The bridge was dedicated by Governor David C. Treen and Bishop Stanley Ott of Baton Rouge and opened to traffic on October 8, 1983 connecting Louisiana Highway 18 on the West Bank and Louisiana Highway 48 on the East Bank. Ten years later, the Luling Bridge was incorporated into the newly completed Interstate 310. The Luling Bridge was the third major cable-stayed bridge in the United States. The 1,255-foot John O'Connell Bridge of Sitka, Alaska was the United States' first vehicular cable-stayed girder spanned bridge. The second cable bridge was Pasco-Kennewick Bridge or Ed Hendler Bridge with superstructure and towers built of concrete in the state of Washington, connecting the communities of Pasco and Kennewick. The Luling Bridge is unique in design and possibly the largest built to date of unpainted weathering steel towers and superstructure. Additionally, the bridge's superstructure is an orthotropic steel box girder, and as of 2009 it is the only bridge in the USA that is cable-stayed with an orthotropic deck. The first such bridge in North America, the Papineau-Leblanc Bridge of Montreal, Canada has a single plane of cables. The Luling has two planes of cables in a fan pattern. Weathering steel was invented by the steel industry and originally intended for coal cars of trains. In the 1960's it was heavily promoted as the steel requiring "zero maintenance". Uniform oxidation or "rusting" results in a uniform protective patina. Moisture content in the environment must be correct to achieve the desired protection. One disadvantage is that rusting will stain concrete support elements such as bridge piers, columns, and foundations. The bridge's weathered bronze color is intended to blend with the muddy waters of the Mississippi River. Europeans developed a practicable cable-stayed, prestressed concrete, orthotropic deck system for bridges built after World War II, to replace their destroyed infrastructure. Unfortunately, while the outside of the Luling Bridge has performed excellently, the inside has shown significant rust due to a design flaw which allows insufficient airflow within the structural columns. . Upon completion of Interstate 49, I-310 and the Luling Bridge will serve as a connection between I-49 and Interstate 10 on the western edge of metropolitan New Orleans.

George Prince tragedy
The bridge was under construction on October 20, 1976 when the ferry George Prince was struck by a tanker while crossing the river from Destrehan to Luling, the same communities connected by this bridge. Seventy-eight people perished when the ferry capsized; only eighteen survived.

Building Activity

  • Toby Logan
    Toby Logan commented
    under repairs atm... for what seems like forever...
    about 5 years ago via Mobile