Sunday, November 18, 2007

Crossing the Bridge

In Louisiana, we have a lot of water: lakes, rivers, creeks, bayous, swamps and a gulf. Throw in ponds, sloughs and a bog or two and you understand that we have a lot of bridges.
Having been forced to drive into a part of the state I haven't visted often, I may be guilty of underappreciating the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge. I crossed over it a half-dozen times over the last couple of days, and it grabbed my attention sufficiently to inspire a couple of drive-by snapshots. This span, we are told, was the first "large weathering steel bridge in the United States." I don't know what that means, but it's nice we're first in something. The bridge crosses the Mississippi River as part of Interstate 310, which connects U.S. Highway 90 with Interstate 10. The first thing you notice is that there aren't that many cables connecting the towers to the bridge decking. This, apparently, is something of an engineering marvel. It's signifcant and interesting, and I'm glad I've driven across it. I'm just glad I didn't think too much about it before I did.

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