The bridge that frames the entrance to downtown Breaux Bridge is beloved by the town. The incarnation of the bridge we know and love today was built back in 1950 for a total of $233,000 (or $2.4 million today), however the first bridge in the town was built in 1799 by Firmin Breaux. Several bridges have been torn down, rebuilt, and moved since then, but the bridge we know of today has become such a staple for the town that it is featured on photographs and paintings of the town. The drawbridge crosses over the Bayou Teche, and if you’re lucky enough you can see it lifted for maintenance. To get a great view of the lifting bridge, Parc des Pont Breaux has a great pier that offers a clear sight of the action. The bridge is perhaps made more famous for its painting of a crawfish, given to the town by the Kiwanis club in the 1980s to highlight the town’s renown for the crustacean.
In recent years, it has been clear that the bridge was in need of some TLC. Rusting, fading, peeling paint have become almost as charming as the bridge lit up at night in a town that thrives on tradition and history. Soon, it will be refurbished. There was fear at one point that the draw bridge would be torn down and a new bridge would be put up in its place, but true to form the town came together and saved it. So, what is in store during the makeover? A good sandblasting and new coat of paint, as well as a restored crawfish painting. The charming bridge won’t be going anywhere soon.