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Jefferson, La. - A much wider Huey P. Long Bridge opened to the public Sunday after ceremonies and events marked completion of the project.
The bridge has been widened from two narrow lanes to three lanes with shoulders in each direction. The driving surfaces will more than double from 18 feet wide to 43 feet wide on both sides of the bridge. Drivers were allowed to cross starting shortly after 1 p.m.
The day began with the Great Huey P. Long Bridge 5k Run at 8 a.m. on La. 18 just west of U.S. 90 on the westbank. Jay Walker's Second Line Band led members of the public onto the bridge using the new Jefferson Highway Ramp at 10 a.m. State Police Troop B Motorcycles assisted with the procession as they did in 1935. It also featured vintage cars.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 10:30 am on the bridge. Winners of the 5k and a group of people who crossed the bridge when it opened in 1935 were recognized during the ceremony. After that, members of the public were allowed on the eastbank side of the bridge until 12:45 p.m., when the bridge was cleared so that it could open to drivers.
Until further notice, there is a 16.5-foot height restriction on all vehicles traveling the bridge, and no wide loads or oversized loads are allowed. Drivers should expect periodic 15-minute full closures weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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