After hearing about Peter Fonda's death, I remembered someone telling me a long time ago that part of that movie was filmed on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.  So I hit the internet to find the scene from the movie.  What I found is much bigger and better than any scene from any movie.  I found real-life video footage of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge being built.  After watching this, you will never drive over the Basin the same way again.

The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge opened in 1973.  It is the 3rd longest bridge in the United States spanning a total of 96,095 feet or about 18.2 miles.  The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge holds the title of 2nd longest bridge on the U.S. interstate system and is the 14th longest in the world by total length.

Building Of The Basin Bridge
YouTube, Louisiana Transportation Research Center

It's almost inconceivable that it only took a little under 3 years to complete.  Construction started in 1971 and it opened to the public in '73.  At the time of it's opening, the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge was honored with the title, 'longest bridge in the world'.  It only has two exits.  One at Butte La Rose and the other for Whiskey Bay.  Latest data (2015) puts the average traffic count at 30,420 vehicles per day.

Traffic On Basin Bridge
Staff Photo

This video is really something to see.  In it, they call the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge, the 'Swamp Expressway'.  I truly believe this video should be shown to everyone born in Acadiana before they can get a driver's license.  The conditions men fought through to build the Basin Bridge and the innovations it took to complete it are mind blowing.  That bridge is more than just a bridge, it's part of our heritage.  It should be respected, almost sacred.

Arial View Of The Basin Bridge
YouTube, Above The Lanes

Show this video to your children.  Make them put their cellphones down long enough to watch something amazing that they probably take for granted.

I will never go over the Basin Bridge without thinking how proud I am to be Cajun.


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