JEFFERSON PARISH, La. - The Huey P. Long Bridge made its way into the history books on Friday.
The bridge was dedicated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
The bridge joins less than 250 landmarks world-wide on an illustrious list that includes the Eiffel Tower, the Panama Canal and the U.S. Capitol Building.
"We have to go through a very extensive application process and prove that it's not only historic, but it's also significant in its civil engineering," said Tonja Koob Marking of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
When the bridge was built in 1935, it was the longest railroad bridge in the world at 4.35 miles. It kept the designation for 15 years.
It was land-marked due to the innovations in design and construction methods to make this size bridge occur on the soft deltaic soils, Marking said.
The double-laned bridge has 8 and a half foot wide lanes.
"They didn't have vehicles with the width we have now...they had Model Ts," Marking said, referring to how the bridge may have been easier to drive on at its beginnings.
In 50 years, Marking predicts the Huey P.'s expansion will be designated as a civil engineering landmark.
The $1.2 billion widening project is expected to be finished by summer 2013. It will be 43 feet wide, compared to its current 18 feet.
This is third structure to receive this designation in Louisiana. The others are the Eads Jetties in Plaquemines Parish and the McNeill Street Pumping Station in Shreveport.
A plaque commemorating the designation will be unveiled at 10 a.m.