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      The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge was selected as the next ASCE National Historic Landmark. The Lake Pontchartrain Bridge in Louisiana was nominated by the Louisiana Section. Frank Griggs was the presenter. He mentioned that both he and his father had worked for the Raymond Concrete Pile Company during the period of construction of the bridge.

     After giving a brief history of pile driving he described the poor soil conditions existing across the 20+ mile long lake and how all structures had to be supported by friction piles which up to that time had been of 24 inch square reinforced concrete. Maxwell Upson designed and patented a 54-inch diameter cylinder pile made up of 16 ft. long precast segments which were prestressed together by steel wires. In addition, Upson suggested that all of the pile caps be precast and the entire deck section be built as a single unit with pre-stressed concrete. A factory was set up to precast and pre-stress all of the elements which were standardized and shipped to the bridge site on barges. The cylinder piles were positioned and driven, two piles to a bent and a precast pile cap was placed on the top of the piles and concreted into place at the design grade. The precast, prestressed deck section was placed on the pile caps and the process repeated and repeated in much the same way as Caesar’s bridge across the Rhine in 55 BC and the early wooden New England Bridges such as across the Charles River. It can be claimed that it was the first manufactured bridge using industrial plant methods. It addition, it was the longest bridge in America and is still the longest continuous bridge over water in the world. It is 23.8 -miles long from end to end and was opened in 1956, with a parallel span opening in 1969. The 1969 bridge was built on the same plan with the exception that the piers consisted of three cylinder piles. Griggs recommended it be approved as a NHCEL and the motion was seconded. After discussion the nomination was approved unanimously.





 
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