Louisiana Roads - US 90 - Huey Long Bridge
Huey Long Bridge, US 90
Photos are on US 90 EB, or NB on the bridge. In fact, the bridge angles somewhat to the west, but that's because the Mississippi River is not perfectly east-west. Like Montréal, New Orleans' cardinal directions are warped to follow the curvature of the river, so I can just call this NB. I'm going to put most of my captions on top of the page and let you just scroll through the photos freely with as few stops as possible. The railroad in the middle of the bridge is the former Louisiana Railway, now the KC Southern Railroad. The reason the rail trestle starts out so much higher on either side is because trains can't climb a grade nearly as steep as cars and trucks. US 90 sits on a pair of very narrow roadways cantilevered on either side of the railroad. Two trucks cannot pass each other, and it's even a dicey proposition for two cars. So there's a project underway to construct new decks on either side of the bridge and then widen the bridge with two new truss structures for support. As you'll see in the photos below, half the truss has been erected, lifted and fastened to the bridge from the river below to match the current structure. The northern half is yet to come as of May 2010, and then the work will begin in earnest to extend and complete the road deck across the bridge. Photos start from the LA 18 circle on the south shore and come up past the future onramp from the circle and future US 90 EB flyover as they merge. Photos then end at a diamond interchange where US 90 turns away from the Clearview Parkway connector (which continues straight) and joins LA 48 East. Something will have to be done at that end, because it's not right for US 90 to come off a 2-mile bridge and hit a traffic light, especially once traffic can bypass the circle at the other end.
The overhead bridge sign on either side has cats'-eye reflectors embedded in what look like steel letters. I'd love to drive by at night and see how they reflect 75 years later. Click on the last image for a closeup of the cats'-eye lettering.
I'm sure there's a system to these numbers on the beams for the new US 90 EB approach, but there has to be an error if the numbering goes in such a non-order.
Why do trains have to ring the bell continuously and sound the whistle all the way through the main span? It sounds like a lot of noise for little gain. Who needs to be warned? Is the bridge so narrow that two trains can't pass?
See that train? It's moving slowly away from the bridge. Very slowly. It may not be visible in these photos. The outline LA 48 shield on the last BGS is one of only two such occurrences I saw in the state and are the oldest style of overhead sign I think you can find in the state. There is no button copy that I know of - only the cats' eyes on this bridge.
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