The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge on I-10 is 18.2 miles (or 96,100 feet) in length. Also known as the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge, the bridge is a pair of parallel structures that carry traffic over the Atchafalaya Basin between Baton Rouge and Lafayette.
According to one 2019 report from the Advocate, this bridge has been the site of over 1,000 accidents since 2014. Out of these crashes, there have been 15 fatalities.
History of the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
The bridge opened to the public in 1973. In 1989, the Louisiana legislature renamed the bridge the Louisiana Airborne Memorial Bridge in tribute to the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army. At the time of construction, the bridge was the longest in the country.
It is now the:
- Third longest in the U.S.
- Second longest on the interstate system
- Fourteenth longest in the world by total length
- The bridge serves over 50,000 each day (The Advocate, 2019)
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
Atchafalaya Basin Today
After a series of motor vehicle accidents that claimed the lives of four people on the bridge, the speed limit was lowered from 70 miles per hour to 60 in 1998. The high number of wrecks was attributed to the volume of 18-wheelers using the road for commercial purposes.
However, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) reported that in 2018, the bridge saw 245 accidents that resulted in 70 serious injuries. While the DOTD is currently working on implementing measures to promote driver safety, as it stands, the narrow lanes and density of traffic still put motorists at risk.
Frequent Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Accidents on I-10
With such a high number of commuters using the bridge each day, the chances of a serious crash are a very real possibility. An average of 197 auto accidents occurs on this roadway per year, with 70% of those collisions caused by distracted drivers, according to the DOTD (Schmaltz, 2018).
One particularly dangerous section of the bridge is the two river crossings area where the lanes narrow. The lack of shoulders along this section of the bridge makes for especially hazardous conditions.
Lower speed limits and traffic regulations requiring large trucks to remain in the right lane all aim to help control traffic flow and reduce traffic accidents.
Construction to repair parts of the bridge can delay travel and contribute to congestion. Stopped traffic or one-lane traffic due to the construction, combined with distracted driving, can place drivers at risk for serious harm.
If You Are in an Accident on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge
A serious car accident on the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge can leave you with medical bills and lost wages. If you were injured due to a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, you may be eligible to pursue compensation for your losses.
An insurance company may make you a settlement offer soon after your injury accident. While the amount they propose may seem like a large sum, it may not factor in the cost of future expenses that may arise. Accepting any amount of compensation from the insurance company will forfeit your right to pursue additional litigation.
If you lost a close loved one due to a traffic accident on the bridge, you may want to hire a wrongful death lawyer to file a claim. Possible types of compensation may include final medical expenses for the decedent, funeral and burial costs, and more.
While no amount of money can return your life to how it was before being injured in a car accident, it can help ease your financial stress during this difficult time.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Atchafalaya Basin Bridge Accidents and Your Rights
The Louisiana statute of limitations for filing a civil action or wrongful death claim is one year, which can pass quickly when you are dealing with accident injuries or the loss of a close loved one.
While securing legal representation may be the farthest thing from your mind, it should top your to-do list after an automobile accident that was not your fault. To protect your best interests, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney.
If you experienced losses while traveling on the Atchafalaya Basin due to a negligent driver, a car accident lawyer can fight for your right to compensation.
When you work with personal injury attorneys, they can examine the cause of your accident, estimate the value of your personal injury claim, and negotiate with the responsible parties for a fair settlement. The goal is to get you back on your feet after the crash so that you can move forward with your life.
The Atchafalaya Basin Bridge can be as dangerous as it is beautiful, but for thousands of motorists, despite the dangers, they must travel this route on a regular basis. If you are in an accident on any of Louisiana’s roads, know that as long as you follow the rules and drive safely, you may be able to get compensation for a wreck that is not your fault.
Schmaltz, T. (2018, June 7). Crash data shows hundreds of wrecks on notoriously deadly and dangerous stretch of I-10.
We have to do better’: A look at the number of accidents, deaths on Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. (2019, August 28).