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GoNOLA Find: Magnolia Bridge at Bayou St. John

The Magnolia Bridge, aka “Cabrini Bridge”, is located in the Bayou St. John neighborhood and is one of the oldest surviving bridges in New Orleans.

Magnolia Bridge at sunset (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The Magnolia Bridge, aka “Cabrini Bridge”, is located in the Bayou St. John neighborhood and is one of the oldest surviving bridges in New Orleans. Closed to vehicular traffic for more than 30 years, the bridge is a popular destination for NOLA locals. It’s used by pedestrians, bicyclists, and dog-walkers as a safe and convenient way to cross Bayou St. John.

Commonly referred to as the Cabrini Bridge due to its location directly across from Cabrini High School, Magnolia Bridge was originally built in the late 19th century when Bayou St. John was still a navigable waterway. The bridge was designed to rotate at its center to allow ships to pass, and included a streetcar track. After the bayou was closed to boat traffic in the early twentieth century, the bridge was stabilized and restored by the WPA in 1936. It was again restored for pedestrian use in 1989.

These days the bridge often plays host to parties, gatherings and even the occasional wedding. The bridge and the surrounding banks of Bayou St. John are a perfect spot for a summer evening picnic, and they make a great vantage point for watching the 4th of July boat parade hosted by Krewe of Kolossos.

The bridge is located at the end of Harding Drive, stretching between Moss Street and across Bayou St. John in Mid-City. Magnolia Bridge is a short walk from the end of the Canal Streetcar line at City Park & the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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