IntroductionNew Orleans (ôrˈlēənz –lənz, ôrlēnzˈ) [key], city (2006 pop. 187,525), coextensive with Orleans parish, SE La., between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, 107 mi (172 km) by water from the river mouth; founded 1718 by the sieur de Bienville, inc. 1805. It was built within a great bend of the Mississippi (and is therefore called the Crescent City) on subtropical lowlands, now protected from flooding by levees. The river is crossed there by the Algiers Bridge (completed 1991), the Huey P. Long Bridge (completed 1935), and the Greater New Orleans Bridge (completed 1958), which is one of the largest cantilever bridges in the country. Lake Pontchartrain is spanned by a 24-mi (39-km) double causeway (opened 1957).
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