The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, spanning 38 kilometers across Lake Pontchartrain, connects New Orleans’ urban area with smaller communities on the north shore. Supported by 9,500 concrete pilings, it sets the world record for the longest bridge in the world, continuous bridge over water.
Longest bridge in the world
Chinese engineering has led to the demolition of Guinness World Records’ record for the longest bridge in the world over water, a four-lane concrete trestle bridge north of New Orleans.
Pontchartrain’s 25.84-mile elevated highway-bridge-tunnel project near Qingdao, China, has been criticized for having only 16.1 miles of sea span compared to 23.79 miles of Pontchartrain’s over open water, sparking controversy among loyalists.
The 58-year-old causeway has been awarded the title of the longest bridge in the world Over Water (Continuous), despite being ranked as such.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, the longest continuous bridge over water in the world, opened on August 30, 1956, connecting New Orleans’ urban area with smaller communities on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, according to National Geographic Magazine.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, a 38-kilometer roadway supported by 9,500 concrete pilings, has greatly benefited residents on both sides of the bridge.
The city commute time was significantly reduced, and the bridge also boosted business for retail stores and restaurants in north shore towns by providing greater access to New Orleans and tourists.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, also known as The Causeway, is a fixed link consisting of two parallel bridges crossing Lake Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana, United States. The longer bridge is 23.83 miles long and has its southern terminus in Metairie and northern terminus in Mandeville. The causeway holds the Guinness World Record for the longest continuous span over water in the world. In 2011, the causeway was reclassified as the longest bridge over water (continuous) and the longest bridge over water (aggregate) due to the opening of the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China.
The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway and Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, both supported by 9,500 concrete pilings, were once listed by Guinness World Records as the longest bridge over water in the world. However, in 2011, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in China was named the ‘longest bridge over water’. Supporters of the former holder of the record, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, disagreed with Guinness World Records not calling the causeway the longest.
They claimed the causeway spans 23.79 mi (38.28 km), while the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge spans 16.1 mi (25.9 km). Guinness World Records, however, used criteria including aggregate structures, such as land bridges on the ends and an under-sea tunnel, to determine the bridge’s length. In 2011, Guinness World Records created two categories for bridges over water: continuous and aggregate lengths over water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway became the longest bridge in the world continuous bridge over water.
The southbound and northbound bridges are a combination of precast prestressed concrete girders, decks, and rails, with spans ranging from 28′ to 84′ in width and length. Both bridges were completed in 1956 and 1969, respectively. The spans have a 10 foot clearance and are supported on precast pile bents, with southbound pile bents having two piles and northbound piles having three piles. The bridges have over 9,000 piles, with each pile averaging 90′ in length.