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Bridge Overview/News

John James Audubon Bridge Construction is Complete

(2/27/12) Construction on the John James Audubon Bridge has officially come to a close. The new Mississippi River crossing is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere, with a 1,583’ main span. Located in south-central Louisiana, the Audubon Bridge connects West Feliciana Parish with Pointe Coupee Parish and is the only bridge between Baton Rouge and Natchez, Mississippi. Construction on the $409 million project began in 2006 and continued when the bridge was opened in May 2011 due to high water levels closing the St. Francisville Ferry sooner than expected.

"Although the Audubon Bridge has been open to traffic for nine months, it’s with a great sense of accomplishment that we are announcing the end of construction on this beautiful structure," said Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E. "The completion of this bridge opens economic development in south-central Louisiana and will be a source of regional, statewide, and national pride."

"The crews have done a first-class job on this bridge and its approach roadways. With a 100-year lifespan, the Audubon Bridge will open the doors for commerce and travel for generations to come," said Louisiana TIMED Program Director Stephen Spohrer, P.E.

Construction was officially completed with the installation of the navigational clearance gauges, markers which indicate the vertical distance between the waterline and the lowest point of the bridge span in the navigational channel.


The John James Audubon Bridge is now open!

(5/5/11) Due to the high level of the Mississippi River causing the closure of the New Roads/St. Francisville ferry, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) opened the John James Audubon Bridge at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2011. This emergency opening allowed continuous river-crossing access for traffic affected by the ferry closure. The ferry, which carried approximately 720 vehicles per day according to 2009-2010 DOTD statistics, is permanently closed with the opening of the Audubon Bridge.

“High water closing the ferry would have obviously caused an inconvenience for commuters, so using the new Audubon Bridge is a logical alternative,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E. “Since this is an emergency situation, we’ve talked to the contractor and determined that it’s 100% safe to allow traffic on the bridge at this time. However, there’s still construction work remaining on the bridge. Drivers should be aware that future road and bridge impacts may be necessary to complete the construction that remains on the project.”

DOTD held a press conference to discuss the emergency opening of the John James Audubon Bridge. The press conference was held on Thursday, May 5 at 10 a.m. The New Roads/St. Francisville ferry service permanently closed at 10 a.m. The bridge was opened to traffic immediately following the press conference.


John James Audubon Bridge Cable Stay Installation Is
Now Complete

(1/5/11) The last two cable stays of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were installed on January 3, 2011, five days after the spans were connected. The John James Audubon Bridge, Louisiana’s newest crossing over the Mississippi River, now has all of its 136 cable stays in place.

Each cable stay is anchored to a 500-foot tower, which provides support to the bridge deck. Each stay contains 20 to 69 individual cables for a total of 4,548 cables. If the cables were placed end to end, they would stretch approximately 1200 miles. Each stay is protected by an orange sheath, which has a spiral bead extending its length to resist rain and wind vibration.


Spans Connect on Longest Cable Stay Bridge 
In the Western Hemisphere

(12/29/10) The spans of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were connected on December 29, 2010, stretching 1/3 of a mile over the Mississippi River. The John James Audubon Bridge, connecting Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes in Louisiana, is approximately 92% complete. Construction of the spans began from both sides of the 500-foot tall towers in early 2010. Both sides continue to progress at a rapid pace, and now the meeting of the spans has occurred. Please note that although the two sides are connected, the bridge is still not accessible to vehicle traffic as more work needs to occur to complete the deck itself before the full bridge opening in late 2011.


Bridge Project Overview

The John James Audubon Bridge project is a new Mississippi River crossing between Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes in south central Louisiana.

The bridge--proposed to be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America--will replace an existing ferry between the communities of New Roads and St. Francisville.

The bridge will also serve as the only bridge structure on the Mississippi River between Natchez, Mississippi and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (approximately 90 river miles).

The Audubon Bridge project will include:

  • A 2.44 mile four-lane elevated bridge structure with two 11-foot travel lanes in each direction with 8-foot outside shoulders and 2-foot inside shoulders
  • Approximately 12 miles of two-lane roadway connecting LA 1 east of Hospital Road at New Roads to US 61 south of LA 966 and St. Francisville
  • Four new intersections at existing LA 1, LA 10, LA 981 (River Road) and US 61 for entry to and exit from the new roadway and bridge
The project is being constructed by Audubon Bridge Constructors, a joint venture of Flatiron Constructors, Granite Construction and Parsons Transportation Group.

The John James Audubon Bridge project is expected to be complete in late 2011.
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