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Crescent City Connection Bridge (Original/Eastbound Span)

Greater New Orleans Bridge

Crescent City Connection Bridge (Original/Eastbound Span)

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 9, 2019

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Key Facts

New Orleans: Orleans Parish, Louisiana and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: United States
Structure Type
Metal Cantilever 32 Panel Multiple-Type-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal 10 Panel Rivet-Connected Warren Deck Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1958 By Builder/Contractor: Bethlehem Steel Company of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Engineer/Design: Modjeski and Masters

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
1,575 Feet (480.1 Meters)
Structure Length
13,428 Feet (4092.9 Meters)
Roadway Width
52 Feet (15.85 Meters)
3 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Archived National Bridge Inventory Report - Has Additional Details and Evaluation

This enormous bridge is a cantilever truss bridge, and while not a very early example of this bridge type, it is nevertheless highly noteworthy due to the length of its main span. Almost all the connections on this bridge are riveted, but eyebars and pin connections can be found near the towers of the bridge.

Due to the elevated nature of the approaching roadway for this bridge, defining the start and end of this bridge may vary depending on the source consulted. HistoricBridges.org is listing the total length of the bridge as found in Wikipedia.

The current name of the bridge was chosen as the result of a contest following the completion of the second bridge (which created a one-way couplet of bridges here) in 1988. The name Crescent City Connection Bridge applies to both bridges. The name Greater New Orleans Bridge applied to the original bridge when it was built. New Orleans notable Vietnamese population also knows the bridge as Cầu Con Cò (Pelican Bridge) due to blue signs on the portal bracing of the bridge that feature a pelican from the state flag.

When this bridge was designed, the famous firm Modjeski and Masters was apparently using the name "Masters and Henderlite" per study documents prepared during the design of the bridge.

While not historic, the companion westbound truss bridge bears mention as well. It was built from 1983-1988, with the main spans completed in 1985. Like the original historic (today eastbound) bridge, the westbound bridge was designed by Modjeski and Masters, and the bridge displays similar span lengths and overall bridge design. However as a newer bridge, 1980s thinking into member design is found in the lack of rivets, no v-lacing or lattice, etc. One unusual feature (for a 1980s bridge) is the use of eyebars near the cantilever towers on the top chord. Eyebars were used on the original bridge as well, but eyebars were not commonly used in bridges in the 1980s. The 1988 bridge was constructed by the Harris Structural Steel Company of South Plainfield, New Jersey.

Above: Cover sheet from report on the design of the historic bridge. Source: Modjeski and Masters.

This photo shows the construction of the historic bridge. Source: Modjeski and Masters.

Above: Historic bridge under construction. This photo shows the moment that the cantilever spans (which were erected outward from each side of the river) were connected, on January 3, 1958. Source: Modjeski and Masters.

Above: 1988 bridge under construction. Source: Modjeski and Masters.

Above: Historical postcard of bridge.



Photo Galleries and Videos: Crescent City Connection Bridge (Original/Eastbound Span)

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