New Orleans has a history of shamelessly audacious engineering, dreaming up outrageous projects then making them reality, enriching the dreamers and their cronies along the way. Lake Pontchartrain Causeway is the longest bridge over continuous water in the world. The original Causeway spanning Lake Pontchartrain was two-lanes, measuring 23.86 miles (38.40 km) in length. It opened in 1956. A parallel two-lane span, about 45 feet longer than the original, opened in 1969.
Once, sailing in rough weather, we took great joy to see we were making faster progress to the North Shore than the cars on the Causeway were. In high winds the bridge speed limit is reduced for safety. The two bridges feature bascule spans over the navigation channel 8 miles (13 km) south of the north shore. I’ve sailed, and motored, through the opened spans a few times. You can’t help but look up and be impressed.