Louisiana's first and longest underwater tunnel opened nearly 70 years ago, but now has been permanently closed as a new toll bridge has been built.

Belle Chase Tunnel Closed
YouTube Via WWLTV

 The Longest Underwater Tunnel in Louisiana

Opened in February of 1957, Belle Chasse Tunnel was a twin-tube tunnel that passed beneath the Intracoastal Waterway in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

The tunnel was heavily used by commuters driving into and out of New Orleans.

The Belle Chase Tunnel was part of Louisiana Highway 23 and connects the communities of Belle Chasse and Algiers.

At approximately 1,938 feet long, until a few weeks ago, it was the longest underground tunnel in Louisiana.

Belle Chasse Tunnel
Wikipedia Via Infrogmation

From wikipedia.com -

"After nearly two years of construction, the $2,436,000 structure opened in February 1956 with the Canal beginning operations later that year.

The politicians in Plaquemines Parish chose to construct a tunnel as opposed to a drawbridge as to enable continuous flow of traffic.

According to engineers and various 1956 issues of the Plaquemines Gazette, the tunnel was the first fully automatic underwater tunnel in the world."

Belle Chasse Tunnel Closed

On Wednesday, December 20 of 2023, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announced the permanent closure of The Belle Chasse Tunnel, for years affectionately referred to as the "Belle Chasse Car Wash" due to it's constant leaking.

Belle Chasse Car Wash
YouTube 504RoadTrips

Commuters will now use the newly constructed Belle Chasse Bridge which will eventually become a toll bridge later in 2024.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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