Does size matter?
Causeway refuses to relinquish 'world's longest bridge' title to China | NOLA.com
For more than half a century, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has proudly billed itself as the world's longest bridge. Call the office and you'll even be greeted with a "Thank you for calling the Causeway, the world's longest bridge.''
The total over-water length for Jiaozhou Bridge in China is about 16 miles, says Carlton Dufrechou, Lake Pontchartrain Causeway general manager. But, he says, the Causeway has its nearly 24 miles all over water. That's a big difference, he says.
So it should come as no surprise that Thursday's announcement that a longer bridge had opened in China wasn't warmly received by bridge officials.
"Bunch of wannabes,'' Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou said.
The $2.3 billion Jiaozhou Bay bridge in the east China city of Qingdao opened to vehicles Thursday and measures 26 miles, a little more than two miles longer than the Causeway, which checks in at nearly 24 miles. An Associated Press story touts the Jiaozhou Bridge as the new world's longest bridge over open water. So does the Guinness Book of World Records (which now relegates the Causeway to No. 2) and the oft-used-but-sometimes-not-totally-accurate Wikipedia website.
But the Causeway begs to differ.
Dufrechou allows that the Jiaozhou Bridge, which like the Causeway will eventually charge a toll, is a "beautiful bridge,'' and that it does indeed measure 26 miles. But that's "cumulative roadbed length" -- in other words, the total length of the span. And some of that length comes courtesy of a curve in the bridge. The total over-water length for Jiaozhou is around 16 miles, he said.
Respectable. Even impressive. But, Dufrechou said, not quite Causeway material, which has its nearly 24 miles all over water.
"Over water? It's still the Causeway by a long shot,'' he said, calling the reports out of China nothing short of "propaganda.''
So Causeway is the longest straight one .... and the Jiaozhou Bay bridge is the longest curved one?
Their bridge is prettier.
My wife says size matters.
Looks like there's an update .... a new Guinness record?
Guinness World Records opens new category for Lake Pontchartrain Causeway | NOLA.com
But just when it looked like the Causeway might have to give up its long-held title, the folks at the Guinness World Records, the repository for such trivia, added a new category: "Longest bridge over water (continuous)."
And the winner is . . . the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.
Don't feel bad for the Jiaozhou Bay bridge. It also claims a world record, under the category: "Longest bridge over water (aggregate)."
The pride of their bridge on the line, Causeway officials balked last week at relinquishing their title, noting that the Jiaozhou Bay bridge, while impressive and shiny new, featured curves that added length. All told, Causeway officials said, the bridge was a mere 16 miles over water -- much less than the Causeway, which boasts a straight shot over 24 miles of water.
Sara Wilcox, a spokeswoman for Guinness World Records in New York City, said the Jiaozhou Bay bridge's opening prompted the new category.
"We were aware that while the Causeway was shorter in length it did actually span a longer straight length of water and so created the new category," she said via email Thursday, adding that the new category was in the works before the bridge in China even opened.
Causeway General Manager Carlton Dufrechou laughed when he heard that the Guinness web site now includes the new category, but said the Causeway can even challenge Jiaozhou's aggregate length claim.
"Completion of the Jiaozhou/Qingdao Bay Bridge is a tremendous accomplishment," he wrote in an email message Wednesday to Guinness. "The Qingdao Bridge curves and has three entry/exit points. We understand that all three legs of the bridge were included in the calculation of its cumulative length of 26.4 miles. The Causeway is actually two parallel bridges of 24 miles each with an aggregate length of 48 miles. The Qingdao's longest, point to point (direct) distance over water appears to be about 16 miles. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway's direct, point to point overwater distance is 24 miles."
Dufrechou said he's pleased the issue has drawn as much attention as it has.
"Heck, this place has been an icon for a long time," he said.
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