POSTED: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 7:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, February 18, 2012 - 7:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that the approaches to the John James Audubon Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River between West Feliciana and Pointe Coupee parishes have been dedicated to honor Marine Corps Generals John A. Lejeune and Robert H. Barrow, former residents of the area.
The dedication comes after House Bill 200 was passed during last year’s legislative session, directing DOTD to name the approaches to the new bridge after Lejeune and Barrow in order to recognize each for their lifetime of service and dedication to the United States. The bill was authored by former Representative Tom McVea.
Yesterday, DOTD placed signage to honor Lejeune and Barrow. The east approach to the bridge on La. 10 in West Feliciana Parish, between U.S. 61 in St. Francisville to the bridge, is now named the General Robert H. Barrow Memorial Approach. The west approach to the bridge on La. 10, between La. 981 and La. 1 Business west of the city of New Roads, is now named the General John A. Lejeune Memorial Approach.
“It is important to recognize the job our soldiers are tasked with each day,” said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. “Naming the approaches after these generals not only pays homage to their dedication, but also to the dedication of each person serving in the military gives to our country.”
LeJeune was born and raised in Pointe Coupee Parish. He attended LSU and graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduation, he was commissioned in the Marine Corps and later selected as the corps’ 13th commandant, a post he held from 1920 through 1929.
Barrow was born and raised in West Feliciana Parish. He attended LSU and enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II where he served as the corps’ 27th commandant from 1979 to 1983. He returned to reside in his hometown of St. Francisville after he retired.
The new $409 million bridge and approaches opened to traffic in May 2011. The bridge’s opening was expedited to accommodate traffic that had lost river-crossing access when the New Roads/St. Francisville ferry closed due to high water levels on the Mississippi River. It is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov , email email@example.com , or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org . Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).