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Author Topic: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.  (Read 6557 times)

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edwaleni

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2018, 04:08:19 PM »

This bridge was originally built by the Peoria, Decatur and Evansville Railroad, later taken over by the Illinois Central.

As you can see the right side pylon is round and was designed to swing the span open for steamer traffic.

From my research, it hasn't been opened since it was tested when built in 1888.  The Wabash River used to be navigable and many of the original spans swung open, were suspended or have high clearance to allow passage as far north as Terre Haute.  As I have read, the bridge tender would walk out and unlock the span and a mule would pull the span open for passing ships.

The left side collapsed in 2000 during a flood when the Wabash channel shifted west.



This is why the abandoned New Harmony Bridge (a few miles north) span has such a high clearance.



The Big Four (CCC& StL Railroad) Evansville Secondary bridge at Mt Carmel has a swing span in the middle.  It is still in use for backing coal trains into the Duke Energy plant nearby, but there is no record of this span ever opening. (Sorry, photo is fuzzy). It is now owned by Norfolk Southern.



Next is a bridge in downtown Mt Carmel. Built by the Southern Railroad, the swing span is way over on the left bank. It is almost blocked by trees. Norfolk Southern owns this bridge as well.



This bridge was the Big Four (CCC& StL) Vincennes Secondary and the swing span was in the middle section. It is now owned by a local farmer who operates it as a private toll bridge called "The Wabash Cannonball Bridge". You can drive it yourself. Make sure no one is coming when you start or you will have to backup.



The B&O Southwestern built a swing span at Vincennes in the 1880's, but the Wabash flood in 2000 caused the swing section on the Indiana side to loosen and caused alignment trouble.  The current owner is CSX and they had the swing span removed in 2002 and replaced it with a girder plate span.



The bridge at Riverton, Indiana has a center swing span that has not opened. Originally built by the Illinois Central in the 1890's to replace a narrow gauge to Indianapolis, it is now operated by the Indiana Railroad.  The span is locked in place as the IR has put welded rail in and there are no breaks for the span to move.



This bridge was originally built by the Peoria & Eastern in the 1890's and has been modified by the current owner CSX. The lift span was centrally located at one time, but CSX replaced it and placed a girder plate in its place.



Since the Wabash River was not considered reliably navigable north of Terre Haute, the waterway access requirement ended there.  This waterway requirement remained on the books until after World War 2, whereas it was turned over to the Tennessee Valley Authority.  The TVA evaluated it and it was considered not viable for power or water commerce and after removing the dam at Grand Rapids north of Mt Carmel, the water route was formally decommissioned.

The result of this requirement is a bevy of swing and lift spans that never (or rarely) opened. No one can find a record of a steamer coming up the Wabash river after 1900, 10-15 years after most of these bridges were built.

Makes you wonder how many bridge tenders the railroads hired to open and close them, just to have no one come through.
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Brandon

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2018, 05:08:25 PM »

For more bridges built to move but never (or rarely did) did, look at some of the bridges over the Hennepin Canal between Bureau and Rock Island Illinois.

There is a draw bridge that hasnt opened in 75 years.

The US67 swing bridge was removed.

But there is a swing bridge built for a farmer but not many pictures exist. He needed to cross the canal to get his farming equipment to his other fields and the original built in 1909 failed.

The issue of who pays for a bridge over a disused canal for a farmer caused such a stink. The canal had reverted from federal to state control. Something to the effect that the canal had not been struck from the record as a federal waterway, therefore no bridges could be built that could impinge on boat clearance.

Now mind you, the canal had not functioned as a whole since the end of WW1 and parts were in use as late as 1946.

But the law was the law. The state of Illinois had to come up with several millions of dollars in the late 1970's to build a swing bridge for the farmer so he could reach his fields. As far as anyone knows, the bridge was only opened once, to pass inspection and reclosed. Its never been open since.


Do you have the location/coordinates of the bridge/is it named? I'm interested in the swing bridge.

If you go to the bridgehunters website, they have a directory of all bridges over the Hennepin "except" that one for the farmer. It has no name that I am aware of.

The draw bridge from 1909 is still standing but closed to traffic. Local clubs are raising money to rehab it as a cross over for the bike trail.

I have looked for the farmers bridge on Google but cant find it. Honestly it has probably rusted and melts into the background and not visible from above.

All I remember is that it looks like just big slab of steel beams with grating on top. It "rolls" over the canal bed using an electric motor with gears.

If you find the coordinates, please share!

I think I may have found the farmer's swing bridge.  It's near Annawan, just north of I-80 (and may be why the farmer wanted the bridge so badly).

https://goo.gl/maps/hiRrwvo82W92
https://goo.gl/maps/6h3DQfRLghT2
Barely visible from I-80: https://goo.gl/maps/zzMZWn48qF42
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edwaleni

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2018, 06:36:49 PM »

For more bridges built to move but never (or rarely did) did, look at some of the bridges over the Hennepin Canal between Bureau and Rock Island Illinois.

There is a draw bridge that hasnt opened in 75 years.

The US67 swing bridge was removed.

But there is a swing bridge built for a farmer but not many pictures exist. He needed to cross the canal to get his farming equipment to his other fields and the original built in 1909 failed.

The issue of who pays for a bridge over a disused canal for a farmer caused such a stink. The canal had reverted from federal to state control. Something to the effect that the canal had not been struck from the record as a federal waterway, therefore no bridges could be built that could impinge on boat clearance.

Now mind you, the canal had not functioned as a whole since the end of WW1 and parts were in use as late as 1946.

But the law was the law. The state of Illinois had to come up with several millions of dollars in the late 1970's to build a swing bridge for the farmer so he could reach his fields. As far as anyone knows, the bridge was only opened once, to pass inspection and reclosed. Its never been open since.


Do you have the location/coordinates of the bridge/is it named? I'm interested in the swing bridge.

If you go to the bridgehunters website, they have a directory of all bridges over the Hennepin "except" that one for the farmer. It has no name that I am aware of.

The draw bridge from 1909 is still standing but closed to traffic. Local clubs are raising money to rehab it as a cross over for the bike trail.

I have looked for the farmers bridge on Google but cant find it. Honestly it has probably rusted and melts into the background and not visible from above.

All I remember is that it looks like just big slab of steel beams with grating on top. It "rolls" over the canal bed using an electric motor with gears.

If you find the coordinates, please share!

I think I may have found the farmer's swing bridge.  It's near Annawan, just north of I-80 (and may be why the farmer wanted the bridge so badly).

https://goo.gl/maps/hiRrwvo82W92
https://goo.gl/maps/6h3DQfRLghT2
Barely visible from I-80: https://goo.gl/maps/zzMZWn48qF42

That is probably the site, but that isn't a swing bridge. I would surmise Illinois took out that goofy swing bridge and moved an older truss bridge to the site after the canal was struck from the federal record.
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1995hoo

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2018, 02:56:52 PM »

Memorial Bridge (between DC and VA) used to be movable, but is no longer movable.  There was also a ceremonial landing spot slightly upriver on the DC side where dignitaries and heads of state could arrive by ship.

If anybody is in the area and has the chance, you can get a really interesting view of the Memorial Bridge drawspan right now from the downriver side (that is, between Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge) if you can find a place to park. Memorial Bridge is under major construction and they've removed the drawspan's facing on that side, so you can see the interior. Pretty interesting sight. I haven't been able to get a picture yet due to heavy traffic (preventing photography while driving) combined with not passing through at a time of day when the lighting would have been good enough had I parked somewhere.
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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2019, 11:36:28 AM »

Memorial Bridge (between DC and VA) used to be movable, but is no longer movable.  There was also a ceremonial landing spot slightly upriver on the DC side where dignitaries and heads of state could arrive by ship.

If anybody is in the area and has the chance, you can get a really interesting view of the Memorial Bridge drawspan right now from the downriver side (that is, between Memorial Bridge and the 14th Street Bridge) if you can find a place to park. Memorial Bridge is under major construction and they've removed the drawspan's facing on that side, so you can see the interior. Pretty interesting sight. I haven't been able to get a picture yet due to heavy traffic (preventing photography while driving) combined with not passing through at a time of day when the lighting would have been good enough had I parked somewhere.
I’d love to see a photo.
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westerninterloper

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #31 on: February 23, 2019, 11:30:51 PM »

The Upper River Bridge of the Toledo Terminal Line over the Maumee River is currently being dismantled. The swing mechanism was included to allow sailing ships to go as far as Maumee, though it's not clear if the bridge was ever opened.


http://photos.mycapture.com/TLBL/REMOTES/27534216E.jpg


http://photos.mycapture.com/TLBL/REMOTES/26587109E.jpg

From the Toledo Blade:

Upper River Bridge slated for demolition
DAVID PATCH
Blade Staff Writer
dpatch@theblade.com
OCT 14, 2018 2:03 AM

...
Bridges rarely come up for sale, but this one the Wood County Port Authority couldn’t even give away.

Instead, the former Upper River Bridge that carried the Toledo Terminal Railroad over the Maumee River between Perrysburg Township and South Toledo is slated for demolition starting Monday, with just a few key components to be saved to preserve its history.

“Not even a nibble,” Rex Huffman, the port authority’s legal counsel, said Friday. “I have not been made aware of any offers for that bridge.”
...

https://www.toledoblade.com/local/transportation/2018/10/12/upper-river-bridge-maumee-wood-county-south-toledo/stories/20181012139
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edwaleni

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2019, 09:55:06 PM »

For more bridges built to move but never (or rarely did) did, look at some of the bridges over the Hennepin Canal between Bureau and Rock Island Illinois.

There is a draw bridge that hasnt opened in 75 years.

The US67 swing bridge was removed.

But there is a swing bridge built for a farmer but not many pictures exist. He needed to cross the canal to get his farming equipment to his other fields and the original built in 1909 failed.

The issue of who pays for a bridge over a disused canal for a farmer caused such a stink. The canal had reverted from federal to state control. Something to the effect that the canal had not been struck from the record as a federal waterway, therefore no bridges could be built that could impinge on boat clearance.

Now mind you, the canal had not functioned as a whole since the end of WW1 and parts were in use as late as 1946.

But the law was the law. The state of Illinois had to come up with several millions of dollars in the late 1970's to build a swing bridge for the farmer so he could reach his fields. As far as anyone knows, the bridge was only opened once, to pass inspection and reclosed. Its never been open since.


Do you have the location/coordinates of the bridge/is it named? I'm interested in the swing bridge.

If you go to the bridgehunters website, they have a directory of all bridges over the Hennepin "except" that one for the farmer. It has no name that I am aware of.

The draw bridge from 1909 is still standing but closed to traffic. Local clubs are raising money to rehab it as a cross over for the bike trail.

I have looked for the farmers bridge on Google but cant find it. Honestly it has probably rusted and melts into the background and not visible from above.

All I remember is that it looks like just big slab of steel beams with grating on top. It "rolls" over the canal bed using an electric motor with gears.

If you find the coordinates, please share!

I think I may have found the farmer's swing bridge.  It's near Annawan, just north of I-80 (and may be why the farmer wanted the bridge so badly).

https://goo.gl/maps/hiRrwvo82W92
https://goo.gl/maps/6h3DQfRLghT2
Barely visible from I-80: https://goo.gl/maps/zzMZWn48qF42

By happenstance I found that rolling swing bridge over the Hennepin Canal.  It's at Lock 17.

Technically, when a ship comes through the canal, the bridge rolls backward to allow clearance.

In this case the bridge was rolled into place and is probably locked now, but you can still see where the bridge "rolls off".

This was a very controversial (and expensive) bridge when it was built in the 1970's.

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ErmineNotyours

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #33 on: November 05, 2019, 11:18:59 PM »

The Union Street Bridge of Salem, Oregon used to be raisable, but now it seems fixed, with the motors and operator house removed.  Those counterweights look real and I hope they don't come crashing down.



For more bridges built to move but never (or rarely did) did, look at some of the bridges over the Hennepin Canal between Bureau and Rock Island Illinois.

There is a draw bridge that hasn't opened in 75 years.

The US67 swing bridge was removed.

But there is a swing bridge built for a farmer but not many pictures exist. He needed to cross the canal to get his farming equipment to his other fields and the original built in 1909 failed.

The issue of who pays for a bridge over a disused canal for a farmer caused such a stink. The canal had reverted from federal to state control. Something to the effect that the canal had not been struck from the record as a federal waterway, therefore no bridges could be built that could impinge on boat clearance.

Now mind you, the canal had not functioned as a whole since the end of WW1 and parts were in use as late as 1946.

But the law was the law. The state of Illinois had to come up with several millions of dollars in the late 1970's to build a swing bridge for the farmer so he could reach his fields. As far as anyone knows, the bridge was only opened once, to pass inspection and reclosed. Its never been open since.

I was just reading about White's Ferry near the C&O Canal in Maryland.  In spite of the efforts to fully restore the canal, if not actually water it, they did allow someone to build a level embankment over the canal, and keep a frame of the old bridge.  Google Street View.
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Flint1979

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2019, 06:34:34 AM »

The rail bridge crossing the Saginaw River near downtown Saginaw has been in the locked position for years. Trains still cross the bridge from time to time but not very often. There is another rail crossing just north of the I-675 bridge that also hasn't been open in years but trains still use it. I followed the railroad to Midland one day it ends up at Dow.

I might want to add that shipping on the Saginaw River stopped not too long after the extremely tall Zilwaukee Bridge was built. The old bridge there was a drawbridge on I-75 that when open would back traffic up for several miles in both directions. Actually part of the reason I-675 was built was to bypass this bridge. The newer bridge is 125 feet tall.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 06:37:32 AM by Flint1979 »
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SteveG1988

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2019, 10:00:08 PM »

Hmm...i still love how this topic changed from built to be movable but never used to...used to move but now doesn't
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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #36 on: April 02, 2020, 04:11:07 PM »

Here are a couple. I posted links to Bridgehunter.

https://bridgehunter.com/tx/bowie/index-rr/   This bridge is still in place, but it was bypassed with an adjacent modern bridge around 2015.


https://bridgehunter.com/tx/newton/201760049901001/
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KEVIN_224

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2020, 08:16:41 PM »

A swing railroad bridge over the Connecticut River, between Middletown and Portland, CT. The Arrigoni Bridge (CT Routes 1 and 66) sits just north of it.
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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2020, 12:54:52 PM »

A swing railroad bridge over the Connecticut River, between Middletown and Portland, CT. The Arrigoni Bridge (CT Routes 1 and 66) sits just north of it.
That bridge is actually in service now.  CSOR uses it to serve a customer in Portland.
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DandyDan

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2020, 04:19:30 AM »

I recall reading somewhere that the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD was built to be movable, but then they stopped having river traffic at that point.
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SteveG1988

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2020, 07:38:50 AM »

I recall reading somewhere that the Meridian Bridge in Yankton, SD was built to be movable, but then they stopped having river traffic at that point.

Found a photo of it being opened with boats going under it
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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #41 on: April 16, 2020, 08:33:11 PM »

Bayou Teche is officially navigable from Wax Lake Outlet north to Breaux Bridge or whereabouts (definitely not north of I-10 since that is a fixed span).  There are numerous drawbridges along this stretch including some pretty ancient looking spans. Since there is relatively little industry along the Teche that would generate barge traffic, I wonder how often the Teche drawbridges need to open.  The bridges seem high enough to serve recreational boat traffic without needing to be opened.  DOTD considers the state owned bridges to be active drawbridges, but that is probably since the Teche is considered an official navigable waterway by USACE.  Maybe someone more familiar with the area can provide the details.
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SteveG1988

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #42 on: April 16, 2020, 09:49:48 PM »

Bayou Teche is officially navigable from Wax Lake Outlet north to Breaux Bridge or whereabouts (definitely not north of I-10 since that is a fixed span).  There are numerous drawbridges along this stretch including some pretty ancient looking spans. Since there is relatively little industry along the Teche that would generate barge traffic, I wonder how often the Teche drawbridges need to open.  The bridges seem high enough to serve recreational boat traffic without needing to be opened.  DOTD considers the state owned bridges to be active drawbridges, but that is probably since the Teche is considered an official navigable waterway by USACE.  Maybe someone more familiar with the area can provide the details.

Parks LA is the northernmost movable span.
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Rick Powell

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #43 on: April 26, 2020, 05:25:34 PM »

If you go to the bridgehunters website, they have a directory of all bridges over the Hennepin "except" that one for the farmer. It has no name that I am aware of.
Bridgehunter does have the bridge, but not filed under Hennepin Canal for some reason. I worked with bridge photographer Gene Smania at IDOT from the 70s thru the 90s. It does mention that the bridge was placed for farm access, but no back story on installation or local controversy.
https://bridgehunter.com/il/bureau/bh51148/
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shadyjay

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2020, 10:07:49 PM »

A swing railroad bridge over the Connecticut River, between Middletown and Portland, CT. The Arrigoni Bridge (CT Routes 1 and 66) sits just north of it.

It is movable and has been since it was built sometime in the early 20th century.  It is usually kept in the open position, and closed for train movements.  I drive by it quite frequently.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Providence_%26_Worcester_railroad_bridge

And the Arrigoni Bridge carries CT 17 and 66.  Due to construction, its currently down to 1 lane each way.

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #46 on: May 20, 2020, 10:39:22 PM »

By happenstance I found that rolling swing bridge over the Hennepin Canal.  It's at Lock 17.

Technically, when a ship comes through the canal, the bridge rolls backward to allow clearance.

In this case the bridge was rolled into place and is probably locked now, but you can still see where the bridge "rolls off".

This was a very controversial (and expensive) bridge when it was built in the 1970's.



Someone on Google Maps even kindly posted a picture of the rolling mechanism: https://goo.gl/maps/8CRVekiLAaCiZqCh9
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edwaleni

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #47 on: June 03, 2020, 02:21:19 PM »

If you go to the bridgehunters website, they have a directory of all bridges over the Hennepin "except" that one for the farmer. It has no name that I am aware of.
Bridgehunter does have the bridge, but not filed under Hennepin Canal for some reason. I worked with bridge photographer Gene Smania at IDOT from the 70s thru the 90s. It does mention that the bridge was placed for farm access, but no back story on installation or local controversy.
https://bridgehunter.com/il/bureau/bh51148/

Thanks for the update Rick.

This bridge was all over the news when I lived in Chicago at the time. They seem to go out of their way to call it public pork and because it wasn't in Chicago or Sangamon County, thought it was fascinating. (Walter Jacobsen at WBBM-TV seemed to take joy at mocking it)
The one thing that happened out of all of this, was that many of archaic laws about former federally funded waterways (some of them dated back to when Abe Lincoln lived in Springfield) got reconciled through a Congressional act (thanks to the Illinois delegation) which allowed "vertical parks" (ones with small widths but very long lengths). The law was signed by then President Ronald Reagan, which also created the Illinois & Michigan Canal Park. This same law is what has been used by various states to use fed funding to return a former public access point back to general public use. Ohio and Pennsylvania have also leveraged this law to return former canals to public use.

Why haven't all the canals been turned into public parks like this? I believe the law was written that only canals that were funded by US congressional acts in the past can qualify.

This would eliminate some old but notorious canals like the Wabash & Erie, which was funded by the State of Indiana in 1835. Privatized by selling it to a trust and then the assets sold at auction when they folded.

Hopefully Illinois DNR can survive this latest round of near bankuptcy state wide and keep many parts of it intact.
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M3100

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Re: Bridges built to become movable, but never operated.
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2020, 09:43:40 PM »

Here's one in Plaquemine, LA, which is on LA-1 just south of Baton Rouge.  The rail bridge is the UP (ex-Texas & Pacific).  Note LA-1 is a divided highway at this point, and only the southbound lanes are on the retired movable bridge.  I don't know if this is a "planned to open but never was" or "previously opened" bridge.  The Mississippi River is out of the picture to the right.

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