Monday, August 15, 2011

A Trip to the Westbank

For those of you not familiar with New Orleans, here's a quick geography lesson:
Here's a map of New Orleans, and a few key things pointed out.
Everything south of the river is the Westbank...
Everything north of the river is the Eastbank...
A couple of weeks ago, I took a trip to the Westbank and met a friend for lunch. When you go to the Westbank from where I live, the best way (aka - the FASTEST way) is to take the Crescent City Connection across the Mississippi River. It's free to take the CCC from New Orleans to the Westbank BUT it costs $1.00 to take the CCC from the Westbank to New Orleans. I usually just take the Huey P. Long bridge home because it's free. It's quite a drive because you have to go through a bunch of stop  lights and what not. But, I still enjoy it.

When I moved to New Orleans, all I ever heard about the Huey P. is that it's horrible to drive over. The lanes are narrow. (Truly, they are. The lanes on the Huey P. are 9 feet wide. The standard lane on the interstate is 12 feet wide.) And, the bridge sways like crazy, especially if there is train crossing at the same time. Now, I had heard about how horrible this bridge was for so long, that when I actually drove it, it didn't phase me. Yes, the lanes are narrow, but I knew the way around that problem. Drive down the middle of the two lanes. So, it never really bothered me. And I actually kind of like taking the Huey P.

Here is a video of someone driving across the bridge. At 1:22 you can see a car in front of the person filming and you can really tell how wide skinny the lanes are.


Now, here's the thing. The Huey P. Long Bridge is a very historical bridge. When it was built there wasn't a bridge any further down the Mississippi than it was. (Now the CCC is further downriver.) It is quite interesting in it's design. Because bedrock below the Mississippi River is more than 1,000 feet below the river, it wasn't really an option to do a traditional foundation for the bridge. Instead the bridge is rested on the sandy bottom of the river and the weight of the bridge holds it in place! How crazy is that?

This, like so many blog posts you may read that include any history to them, left me doing hours of research. First, I never want to tell you the wrong facts here, so, I always like to double check things...and I really just like knowing for myself...thanks for being an excuse to look it all up! But, often times, I come back to the post an hour and 15 subjects later. Today, I researched Mississippi River crossings and ultimately found myself learning about a ferry accident in 1976. Don't worry, you'll hear all about that one day because I am going to go visit the memorial! But, more of that at that time, now, enjoy a few pictures of the Huey P. Long Bridge!



I couldn't decide on which editing I liked better...so you go this one... 
...and this one! I like them both!



3 comments:

MiChE said...

So I cross the bridge twice a day - for work. And I HATE when people drive in the middle. Please tell me you at least go the speed limit when you do that? I think people make the bridge to be way worse than what it is.

Bibi said...

That's a loooooong way up the bridge! :o)

You put a lot of work into this post, thanks for sharing. I never quite thought about the bridges I pass[ed] over, but maybe I should do some research, too.

♥ Bibi

Carissa said...

I love pictures of bridges! I'm not sure why. I like both edits! I can't decided which one more! The history of that bridge is so interesting! And wow that's not a lot of room for traffic in those small lanes!

 
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