A Detailed Account of the Day the Manchac Swamp Bridge Collapsed

One of the most terrifying events in the history of Louisiana was the collapse of the Manchac Swamp Bridge on September 13, 1976. Today, a lot of people are searching for answers, wondering what happened on that fateful day. As such, we decided to dig deeper to give you a detailed account. So, here are some details about the collapse of the Manchac Swamp Bridge.

A Brief Overview

The Manchac Swamp Bridge is “one of the longest bridges in the world.” It has a length of about 22.80 miles and carries U.S. Route 51 and Interstate 55 above the Manchac Swamp. As mentioned, the bridge collapsed in 1976, and it was reconstructed shortly afterwards. By 1979, the bridge was opened again for highway traffic after the collapse.

According to legends, the swamp under the Manchac Swamp Bridge is haunted by a voodoo priestess and a beast. Despite its legendary fame, this bridge is considered safe for travel. In fact, many travelers take this route because it is toll-free.

The Collapse of the Manchac Swamp Bridge in 1976

On September 13, 1976, a barge rammed into the bridge. As a result, concrete, vehicles, and people fell into the swamp.

In response to a call about the event, a deputy of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office went to the collapsed bridge to help save the people in the water. According to him, there were already Manchac residents attempting to help when he arrived at the scene.

When the deputy looked at the bridge, he noticed that a part of the bridge had fallen yet a piling went through the bridge, which rested under a freight truck. The piling stopped the vehicle from moving into the water, saving the people in the truck.


The Dive into the Muddy Water

Unfortunately, there were other cars and trucks that fell into the water. As such, the deputy called his friend, John Hoover, to help him dive into the swamp to attempt saving anyone still stuck in their vehicles under the water.

When the diving partners entered the muddy water, they realized it was completely dark with zero visibility. When they reached the bottom, they could hear a voice. Unfortunately, they couldn’t go near the cries because of the moving slabs of concrete (and the fact that they had zero visibility). After a couple of hours attempting to find anyone trapped, the voice stopped, and they realized that their dive was not a rescue operation anymore, rather a recovery.

The next day, many divers from the area joined the two men as more supplies were brought to the site. On that day, they found one body inside of a truck. After bringing the body to the surface, the deputy discovered that the body they found belonged to a close friend.

The recovery operation ended on the third day. Overall, the collapse of the Manchac Swamp Bridge resulted in one fatality and two injured people. Unfortunately, the damage to the bridge cost billions of dollars. Nevertheless, many people believed that a miracle happened that day because only one person died in that huge disaster.

Maria is a contributor who is passionate about health, fitness, travel, and beauty. During her free time, she tries to discover the beauty hidden in the chaos of today's fast-paced way of life. With a background in health and medicine, she hopes to inspire you to start living a fun, active, and adventurous lifestyle through her writing.

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