Friday, August 9, 2013

Audubon Bridge: A Work of Art


Artist John James Audubon dedicated his life to painting all of the birds in North America.  He painted 32 of his famous works in his Birds of America series while residing at Oakley Plantation at St. Francisville, Louisiana, as a tutor to Eliza Pirrie in 1821.  It is fitting that a work of art in the form of a bridge crossing the Mississippi River between Pointe Coupee and West Feliciana parishes in south central Louisiana be named after him.

The area on both sides of the river is flat-as-a-pancake delta lands, with fields of sugar cane and soybeans covering thousands of acres, as far as the eye can see.  So you can imagine how surprised (and delighted) my husband and I were when way off in the distance we saw the towers of the bridge looming high above the horizon, as shown in the picture below ...
 

As we got closer, we realized that this wasn't just an ordinary bridge, but an impressive engineering wonder and as close to a work of art as a bridge can be.

The John James Audubon Bridge, completed and opened in 2011, is the second longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere (after Mexico's Baluarte bridge, although its total length is four times that of the Mexican bridge), and replaces the ferry between the communities of New Roads and St. Francisville. The bridge also serves as the only bridge structure on the Mississippi River between Natchez, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana (approximately 90 river miles). 
As a gateway, it is intended to provide highway traffic where centuries of ferry crossings and longer commutes have been the norm.
Naming the new bridge after Audubon is significant to the project because it exemplifies the importance and preservation of the rich natural history of the region.
All of these pictures were taken as we were approaching and crossing the bridge.  I wish I could have gotten a side view picture showing both spans.  We plan to spend more time in the area sometime, so, hopefully, I'll have a chance to do that one day.

\




Close up view of the cables ...

I hope you enjoyed seeing the Audubon Bridge up close and personal.  My husband and I both love bridges and it was exciting to come across this unique and beautiful bridge quite unexpectedly.  I guess you could call it a little bit of southern lagniappe!

3 comments:

C. M. Designs said...

Thank you for sharing your ride up to and across this magnificent bridge, Janie. I can't imagine the intelligence it took to design and build the bridge.. I would love to see the side view someday.

There is a bridge in Maryland that goes from the part of Md. to the Eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia. This bridge crosses the Chesapeake Bay.
It is the one of the main bridges to go the beaches along the coast of Delaware, Maryland and the Eastern shore of Virginia.
It was said, on one television station, not long ago, that it is the scariest bridge in the country to cross. There are people there who will drive folks across the bridge if they are afraid to drive it themselves.
I have driven across many times, but at times, my legs have been like jelly. I think people drive too fast while on the bridge.
Enjoy your weekend.
Blessings, Charlotte in Va..

racheld said...

Magnificent. Unimaginably clever, when you come to think of it---and the first one TO think of it must have had a clickety mind with all those pieces and strings falling into place.

Lovely, and I'm So glad you shared it

Now, I gotta go say some silly stuff about the frogs---got so carried away looking up RAYNE yesterday, I never did come back.

rrrrrrrrr

Beth said...

What an amazing structure, and your pictures are amazing, too. I assume that you took them while the car was moving! I'm putting this on my list of things to see.