The Bridge of 1799
The first bridge to span Bayou Teche in what is now Breaux Bridge, was a footbridge built by Firmin Breaux. It is very likely that the bridge was a suspension bridge made of rope and small planks, with stability being provided through small pilings located at each end of the bridge. The bridge was further stabilized by ropes tied to a pair of huge live oak trees on both sides of the bayou.
The Bridge of 1817
This was the first vehicular bridge in Breaux Bridge and was built by Agricole Breaux, the son of Firmin Breaux.
The Bridge of 1845
A simple modification of the Bridge of 1817 resulted in the draw bridge of 1845. With the use of masts and cables, oxen or mule teams were used in lifting the center portion of the bridge to allow passage of boats. Ship logs of New Orleans captains acknowledge this bridge.
The Bridge of 1855
Also located in Parc des Ponts de Pont Breaux is the bridge that spanned Bayou Teche from 1855 to 1891. The bridge, like most of the bridges along Bayou Teche at that time, was a turntable bridge.
In 1863, Confederate troops burned the bridge to prevent the passage of Union troops. Union troops found the bridge to be repairable, and their repairs to the bridge sustained it in Breaux Bridge until 1891 when it was moved to the neighboring community of Ruth. In recent years Ruth constructed a new bridge and the Bridge of 1855 was returned to its original location and reassembled to run along Bayou Teche, rather than across it, and now serves as an outdoor cultural events stage, as well as a fishing pier.
The Bridge of 1899 was our first steel bridge. It collapsed, fortunately with no casualties, 50 years after it was erected and was replaced by our current bridge.
The Bridge of 1950 (current bridge, shown in photo)
The bridge of 1950 is a steel bridge with a vertical lift span and concrete approaches. It was built by J. P. Ewin, Inc. Contractors of Mobile Alabama at a cost of $233,728. Local resident Ana Belle Dupuis Hoffman Krewitz was the first to drive over the bridge in her Model “A” Ford. In honor of Breaux Bridge’s renowned status as the “Crawfish Capitol of the World”, colorful crawfish were added to the overhead structures of the bridge.
Sources: Kenneth Delcambre, Breaux Bridge City Historian;