Manchac Swamp Bridge - Atlas Obscura

Manchac Swamp Bridge

Ponchatoula, Louisiana

One of the longest water bridges in the world was built over a supposedly haunted swamp in Louisiana. 


120,440 feet of concrete overpass was constructed over the Manchac swamp in 1979 to accommodate road traffic.

Measuring 22.8 miles, it occupies a third of Interstate Highway 55. While its daily traffic (about 2,250 drivers) pales in comparison to some of the country’s busier bridges (the George Washington Bridge in New York sees around 275,500 regulars a day), this bridge remains an engineering feat in an age where the limits of construction are being pushed all over the world.

The bridge spans a swamp that is supposedly haunted by a Rougarou (Cajun werewolf, also known as loup-garou) and a voodoo princess. Legend has it that the princess placed a curse on the surrounding areas and indeed a hurricane swept away three towns on the day of her funeral in 1915.

Though a previous Manchac bridge suffered a fatal collapse in 1976, the present structure has resisted the historic hex and remained stable. It’s quite safe to drive over the bridge despite any legends, but swamp swimmers below should be aware of the fully real alligators that float on the tranquil waters below the pier.

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