The Huey P. Long Bridge has been vital to the economy of New Orleans and Louisiana since its completion in 1935. But as significant as this impressive truss bridge has been in the past, its most important role lies ahead, as a key component for the facilitation of increased commerce crossing the Mississippi River.
Modjeski and Masters has enjoyed a long history with this combination highway and railroad bridge. We were the bridge design firm chosen for the structure’s original design and engineering, and we have routinely performed yearly bridge inspections for its owner, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, since its opening. The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development decided it was necessary to widen the highway portion of the Huey P. Long Bridge to keep highway traffic, and commerce, flowing in the region. Modjeski and Masters was called upon to oversee the ambitious project, providing engineering services for the widening of the main bridge, new approaches, and improved interchanges at each end of the crossing.
Beginning in April 1988 with the conceptual study of the truss bridge’s widening, work on the project has included line and grade studies, geometric design, corridor upgrades, and environmental documentation. Later phases of work included performing structural services, fatigue studies, preliminary and final design work for new auxiliary trusses, pier widening, pier support brackets, steel and concrete girder highway approaches, and modifications to the railroad approaches. Highway and drainage design was performed for the at grade connections to the crossing and to improve the existing connecting roadways and interchanges.
The Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project was successfully completed in 2013.