DOTD holds press conference to celebrate 50th Anniversary of Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 3:18:55 PM
BUTTE LAROSE, La. – Today, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development held a press conference to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.

“Fifty years ago, on the heels of the highway interstate system, Louisiana opened traffic to the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge,” said DOTD Chief Engineer, Chad Winchester. “The construction of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge is a testimony of the resiliency, pride and determination that can inspire Louisiana to even greater accomplishments.”

The bridge was built by the Louisiana Bridge Company, a joint venture between Brown and Root, Inc. of Houston, Texas at the time, and the former T.L. James Company of Ruston, Louisiana.

What stands today as a well-known Louisiana landmark, constructing the bridge was no small feat. Due to the remoteness of the structure, construction canals totaling approximately 40 miles, where required to service the project.

Building this infrastructure facility also required approximately 174 miles of piling and 170 miles of pre-stressed concrete girders, including steel pilings and pre-stressed concrete piles.

Over the years, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge has aided in improving the quality of life for Louisianans by enhancing mobility and facilitating economic development opportunities.

Today, the 18-mile parallel bridges carry approximately 60,000 vehicles per day across the Atchafalaya River.

“For many of us, the Basin Bridge is not just a bridge. It’s access to family, friends, jobs, healthcare, sporting events, and many other instances. Our lives are richer because of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Not just because of what it is, but because of its contributions to this area, the people and the great state of Louisiana,” said Winchester.

In March 1973, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge was opened to the public. Today’s press conference was held in conjunction with Atchafalaya National Heritage Month recognized in October.

To view “Swamp Expressway”, a video by DOTD depicting the construction of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, click here.