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Steel Shots: Lifting a Huge Steel Frame
Posted by Alison Trost on July 2, 2010 at 9:43 AM.

Steel Shots: Lifting a Huge Steel Frame
Crews widening the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans used multiple barges and heavy duty jacks on June 19 to lift a huge steel structure 135 ft into place. The 2,650-ton bridge segment is larger than a football field - it’s 528 ft long! - and took a little more than 12 hours to lift. (Photo: Louisiana TIMED Managers and LaDOTD)


The Huey P. Long Bridge was opened to traffic in 1935 and has served the New Orleans area residents and visitors in the same capacity for almost 75 years. Widening the bridge is part of Louisiana’s $5 billion Transportation Infrastructure Model for Economic Development (TIMED) program, which includes two other major bridge projects and widening 536 miles of state highways.


The widening of the Huey P. Long bridge is being accomplished by adding new trusses to each side of the bridge. Because of the heavy traffic, both on the bridge and the river, an innovative plan was devised to erect the widening trusses span by span. (Great plan; very challenging!) The approach was described by the engineers at the World Steel Bridge Symposium last fall. Download their paper by clicking here.


To watch a time-lapse video of the lift, go to the Huey P. Long Bridge page, which also provides background on the bridge and the need for this widening.


A new 3-minute video posted on the project’s Facebook page on June 29 includes Louisiana DOT Interim Secretary Sherri LeBas, the engineer and the contractor talking about the project while the lift proceeds in the background.


To learn more about the lift from the project manager’s website, visit You also can stay up to date about the progress on the project by following hueypbridge on Twitter and Facebook

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