Monday, December 18, 2017

The Watson-Williams Bridge

Building a bridge across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans to the Northshore was a hot subject in the early 1900's. Many favored a centrally-located bridge from New Orleans West End to Mandeville. However, over in the Slidell area in the 1920's promoters of a five mile long bridge on the east side of the lake won state approval for their idea. So they got together and built the Watson-Williams Bridge (also known as the Maestri Bridge.)


Click on the images to make them appear larger. 
This was the view on the five mile long toll bridge.





Source for the next two items:
Graham Cooper, “Maestri Bridge,” New Orleans Historical, accessed July 28, 2017, http://www.neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/336.


1925

The public outcry against the tolls on the bridge prevailed and ten years later the state decided to buy the bridge and make it a free crossing. 

 1938


The postcard above shows the "Maestri Bridge" over Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans to Slidell, at that time the "world's longest continuous concrete highway bridge." 




It survived the high surge waters of Hurricane Katrina and is still in use today .