Return to Louisiana

mageba’s current project to supply expansion joints for the new Belle Chasse Bridge in Louisiana marks a return to the state where we supplied extraordinarily large sliding finger expansion joints over a decade earlier.

The Belle Chasse Bridge in the southern outskirts of New Orleans crosses the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway close to where it branches off from the Mississippi River. The existing structure, a movable bridge that requires to be opened a number of times every day to allow the passage of large shipping vessels, is to be replaced by a fixed structure, minimising disruption to both road and waterway traffic while also reducing long-term maintenance and repair work.

The new four-lane bridge requires expansion joints at both ends, and the responsible engineers accepted mageba’s proposal to satisfy the need by means of three-gap TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints. In addition to these expansion joints, mageba was also contracted to supply the cover plates for the barriers and the sidewalk at each expansion joint location – parts of the bridge which must, of course, also accommodate the bridge’s movements. The sliding plate expansion joints in the sidewalk area are required to accommodate both pedestrian and cycle traffic.

Louisiana – home of a special project from our past

For mageba, Louisiana will always be fondly remembered as the home of the John James Audubon Bridge, a spectacular structure across the Mississippi River for which we supplied the required finger-type expansion joints in 2010. As well as the TENSA®FINGER (type RSFD) cantilever finger joints that were designed to facilitate longitudinal movements of 310 mm, we also designed and manufactured the TENSA®FINGER (type GF) sliding finger joints that accommodate extraordinarily large movements of up to 1,240 mm (over four feet) with sliding support provided only at the tips of the fingers – a feat that we believe represents the supply of the largest expansion joints of this type ever produced, and one that once again demonstrated our capabilities as one of the world’s foremost suppliers of bridge expansion joints. For this reason in particular – as well as all the other wonderful things the state has to offer – we will always be glad to return to Louisiana!

Bridge designer and owner: Louisiana Department of Transportation
Contractor: Taylor-Massman, Joint Venture

The existing movable bridge over the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway required to be replaced by a new structure after over fifty years of service (Source:

Construction of the new bridge parallel to the existing structure is expected to be completed in 2024 (Source:

Design representation of one of the new TENSA®MODULAR expansion joints complete with barrier cover plates and with sidewalk cover plates for bicycle and pedestrian traffic

Detail from the design representation of a new TENSA®MODULAR expansion joint illustrating the design of a barrier cover plate

Detail from the design representation of a new TENSA®MODULAR expansion joint showing the sidewalk area for bicycle and pedestrian traffic

When completed, the new Belle Chasse Bridge in Louisiana will allow unhindered flow of both road and waterway traffic while also substantially reducing long-term maintenance and repair work (Source:

The Audubon Bridge over the Mississippi River – another impressive structure in Louisiana with mageba expansion joints

The enormous sliding finger expansion joints of the Audubon Bridge in Louisiana have provided excellent service since they were installed in 2010