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Krotz Springs Bridge

Frank and Sal Diesi Bridge

Krotz Springs Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: October 14, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
US-190 (Westbound) Over Atchafalaya River
Location
Krotz Springs: Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana and St. Landry Parish, Louisiana: United States
Structure Type
Metal Continuous Bolt-Connected Warren Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Pre-Stressed Concrete Stringer (Multi-Beam), Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1973 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
780 Feet (238 Meters)
Structure Length
3,403 Feet (1,037 Meters)
Roadway Width
34 Feet (10.36 Meters)
Spans
3 Main Span(s) and 26 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
34900080400001

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

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

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Data Pages, PDF - HAER Plan Sheets, PDF

Constructed in 1973, and being composed of steel fabricated using modern, non-historic details, this bridge (and its even newer 1988 companion bridge) is included on HistoricBridges.org not so much for its historic significance but for how this site illustrates the evolution (or some might argue, devolution) of bridge design. To understand the changes in bridge design, compare these bridges to the 1971 Simmesport Bridge and the 1938 Blue Water Bridge. The Blue Water Bridge, built in 1938, represents an older and highly significant historic bridge, noted for its graceful arch truss design, and rich use of riveted built-up beams containing lattice bars giving the bridge a complex geometric beauty. As the years progressed, the use of v-lacing and lattice diminished, and this made truss bridges look more simple. Field connections began to be bolted, but rivets continued to be used for built-up beams fabricated in the shop. The Simmesport Bridge, completed in 1971 and probably built to a design that was drawn up in the late 1960s, still shows this use of rivets in the shop-fabricated built-up beams, and it still shows a pleasing arched shape to the arch-truss design. It marks the end of an era. Around 1970, the use of rivets dropped completely from bridges, replaced by the exclusive use of welds and bolts. This had a dramatic affect on the geometric complexity of a bridge. Without v-lacing and lattice, and on top of that without the aesthetically pleasing visual texture that rivets add to steel, truss bridges took on a much less visually pleasing appearance. The 1973 bridge at Krotz Springs shows the result of this, with its welded beams that are bolted together. From this point forward, truss bridges continued to devolve into less visually pleasing forms, through increasing simplicity in design with no attention paid to aesthetics whatsoever. The outcome of such changes is painfully obvious in the 1988 companion bridge that was built next to the 1973 bridge. As simple and plain as the 1973 bridge looks, the 1988 bridge is even more so. It still has the same engineering thought as earlier arch-truss bridges, with a deck truss span that transitions into a through truss span, but no attempt was made to create an aesthetically pleasing arch shape as in all the other examples discussed here. Thus, the 1988 bridge shows the complete devolution of the metal truss bridge from a beautiful bridge type to a downright ugly bridge type.

Above: The 1988 bridge.

It is also worth noting that the 1988 bridge replaced a historic K-truss bridge at this location. The K-truss served two-way traffic until it became part of a one-way couplet with the construction of the 1973 bridge. The above HAER links refer to this bridge. Also, photos from the Historic American Engineering Record of the historic K-truss bridge are shown below.

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Photo Galleries and Videos: Krotz Springs Bridge

 
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Bridge Photo-Documentation
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A collection of overview and detail photos. This gallery features data-friendly, fast-loading photos in a touch-friendly popup viewer. Alternatively, Browse Without Using Viewer

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Maps and Links: Krotz Springs Bridge

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