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John A. Weeks III
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Highways, Byways, And Bridge Photography
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
US-90 Mobile River Crossing At Mobile
Mobile, Alabama

Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge

• Bridge: Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
• Structure ID: NBI 015430
• City: Mobile
• State: Alabama
• Country: USA
• Carries: US-90, Truck US-98
• Crosses: Mobile River
• Date Opened: 1991
• Total Length: 7,291 Feet
• Longest Span: 781 Feet
• Tower Height: 350 Feet
• Deck Width: 80 Feet
• Number Of Lanes: 4
• Number Of Spans: 1
• Height Above Water: 140 Feet
• Traffic Count: 11,110 (2000)
Traffic over this bridge is still rather light. The main traffic flow through town follows I-10 and uses the Wallace Tunnel. Hazardous materials are prohibited from the tunnel, which makes the Africatown-Cochrane a key link truck traffic. The bridge is also located near the ports, so it is a vital link for cargo traffic.

In 2005, a local shipyard was converting an old oil platform into an offshore support center for the oil industry. This platform would act as a parts warehouse, logistics center, and housing that could be deployed out in the Gulf Of Mexico rather than having to come all the way back to the coast for those facilities. When Hurricane Katrina made landfall on August 29, 2005, this platform broke loose, traveled over a mile up the Mobile River against the current, and was blown under the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge. The platform past nearly all the way under the bridge, stopping only when a crane on the platform struck the bridge. Damage to the bridge was most cosmetic, including damage to concrete and guard rails, and at least one broken cable stay dampener. The repair also including centering the bridge on its bearing structure, so it must have been knocked off kilter just bit. It is lucky that the bridge survived given that the I-10 tunnel flooded in downtown Mobile, and many highway causeways were damaged.

Africatown is a settlement founded during the Civil War by the last group of Africans to be brought to the US as slaves. The 160 people were brought to the US illegally. While it is unclear if Africatown was ever formally incorporated as a city, the settlement still exists today with a population of 12,000 residents. It is now part of the city of Prichard, Alabama, a suburb of Mobile.


Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge

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