New Roads, La. – The last two cable stays of the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere were installed on Monday, January 3, 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.
"The installation of the last stay cable on the John James Audubon Bridge is yet another major milestone in the construction of the bridge," said Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Sherri H. LeBas, P.E. "Installing and tensioning this final stay, which contains over 800' of cable, is a noteworthy engineering achievement."
The bridge project, expected to be complete in late 2011, is part of the Louisiana TIMED Program and is being constructed by Audubon Bridge Constructors (ABC), a joint venture of Flatiron Corporation, Granite Construction, and Parsons Transportation Group. The TIMED Program is the single largest transportation program in Louisiana history. The Program is designed to enhance economic development in Louisiana through an investment in transportation projects and is funded by a dedicated $0.04 per gallon gasoline and motor fuels tax. It was created by Act 16 of the 1989 Louisiana Legislature and was approved by a vote of the people.
The bridge gets its name from John James Audubon (1785-1851), one of the world’s most renowned naturalist artists, who dedicated his life to painting all of the birds in America. Audubon painted 32 of his famous works in his Birds of America series while residing at Oakley Plantation in St. Francisville as a tutor to Eliza Pirrie in 1821.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.