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Blake Pontchartrain: Who was state Sen. Ted Hickey and why did he get a bridge named after him? 

click to enlarge The Seabrook Bridge, which spans the Industrial Canal near Lakefront Airport, was built in 1967 and renamed in 1997 for state Sen. Ted Hickey, who also represented District E on the New Orleans City Council.

PHOTO BY CREATIVE COMMONS/INFROGMATION

The Seabrook Bridge, which spans the Industrial Canal near Lakefront Airport, was built in 1967 and renamed in 1997 for state Sen. Ted Hickey, who also represented District E on the New Orleans City Council.

Hey Blake,

Who was state Sen. Ted Hickey and why did he get a bridge named after him?

Shawneeshia Jackson

Dear Shawneeshia,

Thousands of motorists drive over the bridge named for Theodore "Ted" Hickey every day and many, like you, may wonder about him and his history.

  The bridge over the Industrial Canal that carries his name also is known by many as the Seabrook Bridge. It was given that name when it opened in May 1967, borrowing its name from a local subdivision. The Orleans Levee Board, which maintains the bridge, voted in 1997 to rename the bridge after Hickey. He was a lifelong resident of the Lakefront and represented the Eighth and Ninth Wards in the state Legislature for decades.

  Born in 1910, Hickey was a New Orleans native with a long history of public service. An insurance executive, he was first elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives in 1952. In 1955, he was elected to the state Senate. Interestingly, the man he replaced in the Senate was Judge Marion Seeber, who was the son of Judge William Seeber — who also has an Industrial Canal bridge named after him.

  A Democrat, Hickey went on to serve more than 25 years in the Legislature, interrupted by a stint on the New Orleans City Council from 1958 to 1962. He represented District E on the council and took an at-large post when Vic Schiro was appointed mayor.

  As a state legislator, Hickey is remembered for helping to draft the 1956 act which established the University of New Orleans. The campus' University Ballroom was named in his honor last year. Hickey left the Legislature in 1984. He died in 1993 at the age of 83.

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