Interstate 49 in Louisiana

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This article is about the section of Interstate 49 in Louisiana. For the entire route, see Interstate 49.

Interstate 49 marker

Interstate 49
Opened sections of I-49 in Louisiana highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Louisiana DOTD
Length: 208.25 mi[1] (335.15 km)
Existed: 1984 – present
Major junctions
South end: I‑10 / US 167 in Lafayette
 
North end: I-49 at the Arkansas state line
Highway system
  • Louisiana Highway System
LA 48 LA 49
Interstate 49 near Chopin

Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway that spans a total of 208.25 miles (335.15 km) in a north–south direction in the U.S. state of Louisiana.[1][2] It runs from I-10 in Lafayette to I-20 in Shreveport, largely paralleling the older US 71 corridor, and connects the state's two east–west interstates at two of its metropolitan centers. Along the way, it serves the cities of Opelousas, Alexandria, and Natchitoches, intersecting several cross-state U.S. routes, such as US 190, US 167, US 165, and US 84.

I-49 was an intrastate Interstate Highway until December 12, 2012, when the designation was officially approved for an upgraded portion of US 71 in Missouri running from Joplin north to Kansas City.[3] Portions of the remaining roadway between Shreveport and Joplin are in various stages of planning or construction, as well as a southern extension of the route from Lafayette to New Orleans along the US 90 corridor.

Route description[edit]

I-49 begins its journey in Lafayette concurrent with U.S. Route 167 from I-10 to Opelousas at Exit 23. At Lafayette, motorists continuing southbound see the interstate highway change to U.S. 90 (Evangeline Thruway), a major thoroughfare taking travelers towards the heart of Lafayette. North of Lafayette, motorists on I-49 will parallel the ancient Mississippi river bed north of Carencro, and through Grand Coteau, just south of Opelousas.

After leaving Opelousas, I-49 traverses the relatively flat, fertile farmlands until reaching Alexandria. From there, the highway roughly follows the Red River and Louisiana 1, bypassing the historic city of Natchitoches to the west on its way to Shreveport. At Shreveport, the highway parallels a railroad line just to the west until its terminus at I-20 southwest of downtown.

The heaviest traffic on I-49 occurs within the cities of Shreveport and Opelousas. The stretch of freeway in Shreveport sees an average of 70,000 vehicles per day, while the stretch of freeway between Lafayette and Carencro sees an average of 55,000 vehicles per day, and the stretch of freeway through Opelousas sees an average of 45,000 vehicles per day between the Judson Walsh Drive and Creswell Lane exits.

History[edit]

The original plans for Interstate Highways in Louisiana only included Interstates 10 and 20 with no connection in between. After Interstate 55 was added in the 1950s, the state considered building a toll road to connect I-10 in southwestern Louisiana and I-20 in the northern part of the state, but later rejected the idea.

In the mid-1970s, the Federal Highway Administration approved an Interstate Highway to run between I-10 and I-20, beginning at I-10 in Lafayette and ending at I-20 in Shreveport. The mileage was gained from mileage released from other highways the states did not build as well as 153 miles (246 km) from a supplemental reserve.[4]

Construction of I-49 began in the early 1980s, with the first signed segment from I-10 to Washington, Louisiana, opening in 1984. After several delays, most of the highway was open by the early 1990s. The entire length of the 212-mile (341 km) road was completed May 1, 1996 when a 16.6-mile (26.7 km) section of highway in Alexandria named the Martin Luther King Jr. Highway was completed. The total cost of I-49's construction was about $1.38 billion.

Interstate 49 North is a 36-mile construction project that will connect I-220 in Shreveport to the Arkansas state line. This project has been divided into 11 segments. Of the 11 segments, 9 are complete and 2 are under construction As of January 2015 and $460 million of $622 million needed to complete the project has been secured. An 18.9-mile section between State Route 1 and U.S. 71 opened on November 27, 2013;[5] the section to just south of the Arkansas state line opened in March 2014.[6]

Future expansion[edit]

State transportation officials are currently working on plans to extend Interstate 49 to the south and east, from Lafayette to New Orleans roughly following the path of the current U.S. 90, which is at present a four-lane divided highway between the two cities. However, from Morgan City to near Raceland, U.S. 90 is an interstate-standard freeway, bypassing to the north of Houma.

Future corridor I-49 sign in Lafayette, LA

In the Lafayette area, the project is divided into two projects, the I-49 Connector and the rest of the interstate from the Lafayette Regional Airport to LA 88. The I-49 Connector has a record of decision and is currently in the process of formulating the Environmental Impact Study. It is planned to be a six-lane elevated freeway, passing to the West of the current Evangeline Thruway corridor, as to be closer to the Central Business District in Downtown Lafayette. The rest of the freeway from the airport to LA 88 will be an at grade six-lane freeway with a two mile (3 km) segment of eight-lane elevated freeway through the suburb of Broussard.

In the immediate New Orleans area, I-49 is planned to follow the route of the U.S. 90 Business (also known locally as the Westbank Expressway) through Westwego, Gretna and across the Crescent City Connection into downtown New Orleans, ending at I-10. "Future I-49" signage is visible along U.S. 90 and U.S. 90 Business, although as of 2014, construction has yet to begin.

The segment from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line was opened in early 2015.[7] The route roughly parallels U.S. 71 on the west northward from I-220. Segments "J" and "K" are under construction and are targeted for completion by 2017.[8] Other proposals include a no-build proposal to reroute I-49 along Louisiana 3132/Inner Loop Expressway and concurrent with I-220 from I-20 to its proposed alignment near U.S. 71,[9][10] which would make the existing I-49 between LA 3132 and I-20 a spur of I-49. Another alternative is to connect I-49 at the I-20 interchange with I-49 North at the I-220 interchange.[10]

Exit list[edit]

Parish Location Mile[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Lafayette Lafayette 0.0 0.0 US 167 south – Lafayette south end of US 167 overlap; proposed continuation of I-49
0.0–
0.6
0.0–
1.0
1 I‑10 – Lake Charles, Baton Rouge Signed as exits 1A (east) and 1B (west); exit 103 on I-10
1.0–
1.6
1.6–
2.6
1C Pont Des Mouton Road
LafayetteCarencro line 2.5–
3.2
4.0–
5.1
2 LA 98 (Gloria Switch Road)
Carencro 4.5–
5.1
7.2–
8.2
4 LA 726 – Carencro Eastern terminus of LA 726
  7.4–
8.1
11.9–
13.0
7 LA 182
St. Landry Grand Coteau 11.1–
11.8
17.9–
19.0
11 LA 93 – Sunset, Grand Coteau
Opelousas 15.8–
16.4
25.4–
26.4
15 LA 3233 (Harry Guilbeau Road) Eastern terminus of LA 3233
17.4–
18.0
28.0–
29.0
17 Judson Walsh Drive
18.7–
19.2
30.1–
30.9
18 LA 31 (Creswell Lane)
  19.5–
20.3
31.4–
32.7
19 US 190 – Opelousas, Baton Rouge Signed as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west) northbound
  23.5–
24.1
37.8–
38.8
23 US 167 north / LA 744 – Ville Platte Northern end of US 167 concurrency; western terminus of LA 744
Washington 25.4–
25.7
40.9–
41.4
25 LA 103 – Washington, Port Barre
  27.4–
28.2
44.1–
45.4
27 LA 10 (LA 182) – Lebeau
  rest area interchange with access across I-49
Evangeline
No major junctions
St. Landry   40.4–
41.0
65.0–
66.0
40 LA 29 – Ville Platte
Evangeline
No major junctions
Avoyelles   46.9–
47.6
75.5–
76.6
46 LA 106 – St. Landry
  53.8–
54.5
86.6–
87.7
53 LA 115 – Bunkie
Evangeline
No major junctions
Rapides   56.9–
57.7
91.6–
92.9
56 LA 181 – Cheneyville
  61.4–
62.1
98.8–
99.9
61 US 167 – Turkey Creek, Meeker
Lecompte 66.9–
67.5
107.7–
108.6
66 LA 112 – Forest Hill, Lecompte
Woodworth 73.5–
74.3
118.3–
119.6
73 LA 3265 / PR 22 – Woodworth Eastern terminus of LA 3265
  80.4–
81.5
129.4–
131.2
80 US 71 / US 167 south (MacArthur Drive) south end of US 71 Byp. / US 167 overlap; no direct southbound exit to US 71 north (signed at exit 81)
Alexandria 82.3 132.4 81 LA 3250 (Sugarhouse Road) Southbound exit and northbound entrance
83.7–
84.5
134.7–
136.0
83 Broadway Avenue
84.9–
85.8
136.6–
138.1
84 US 167 north / LA 28 east (Pineville Expressway) / LA 1 (Casson Street) north end of US 167 overlap; south end of LA 28 overlap; no direct southbound exit to LA 1 (signed at exit 85A)
85.2–
86.5
137.1–
139.2
85A M.L. King Drive / Elliott Street – Downtown Alexandria
85.8 138.1 85B Monroe Street / Medical Center Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
86.6–
87.6
139.4–
141.0
86 US 71 / US 165 / LA 28 west (MacArthur Drive) north end of US 71 Byp. / LA 28 overlap; US 71 exit 71
90.5–
91.3
145.6–
146.9
90 LA 498 (Air Base Road) Western terminus of LA 498; to Alexandria International Airport
Rapides 94.8–
95.6
152.6–
153.9
94 PR 23 (Rapides Station Road)
  98.9–
99.1
159.2–
159.5
98 LA 1 – Boyce Northbound exit and southbound entrance
  99.8–
100.7
160.6–
162.1
99 LA 8 east / LA 1200 – Boyce Southern end of LA 8 concurrency
Rodemacher 103.5–
104.1
166.6–
167.5
103 LA 8 west – Flatwoods Northern end of LA 8 concurrency
Lena 108.0–
108.8
173.8–
175.1
107 Lena
Natchitoches Chopin 113.9–
114.7
183.3–
184.6
113 LA 490 – Chopin
Derry 119.4–
120.2
192.2–
193.4
119 LA 119 – Cloutierville
Cypress 127.9–
128.8
205.8–
207.3
127 LA 120 – Flora, Cypress
Natchitoches 133.0–
133.7
214.0–
215.2
132 LA 478
138.4–
139.0
222.7–
223.7
138 LA 6 – Many, Natchitoches
  143.1–
143.8
230.3–
231.4
142 PR 547 (Posey Road)
Allen 149.0–
149.9
239.8–
241.2
148 LA 485 – Allen, Powhatan
  155.4–
156.3
250.1–
251.5
155 LA 174 – Ajax, Lake End
De Soto   163.0–
163.7
262.3–
263.4
162 US 371 / LA 177 – Pleasant Hill, Coushatta Southern terminus of US 371
  170.0–
170.8
273.6–
274.9
169 Asseff Road
  173.1–
173.8
278.6–
279.7
172 US 84 – Mansfield, Grand Bayou
  177.8–
178.4
286.1–
287.1
177 LA 509 – Carmel
  186.7–
187.3
300.5–
301.4
186 LA 175 – Kingston, Frierson
  191.9–
192.6
308.8–
310.0
191 LA 3276 / PR 16 – Stonewall Eastern terminus of LA 3276
Caddo   197.1–
197.8
317.2–
318.3
196 Southern Loop
Shreveport 199.9–
200.8
321.7–
323.2
199 LA 526 (Bert Kouns Industrial Loop)
201.3–
202.4
324.0–
325.7
201 LA 3132 (Inner Loop Expressway) – Dallas, Texarkana
Temporary gap
I‑220 – Dallas, Monroe Under construction
LA 3194 (MLK Drive) Under construction
  215 LA 1 (North Market Street)
  221 LA 173 – Blanchard, Dixie
  223 LA 169 – Mooringsport
  228 LA 530 – Oil City, Belcher
  231 LA 170 – Vivian, Gilliam
  234 US 71 – Hosston, Gilliam
  237 LA 2 – Hosston, Plain Dealing
  241 PR 16 – Mira
  245 LA 168 – Rodessa, Ida
  I-49 north – Texarkana Arkansas state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Staff (October 31, 2002). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Google, Inc. "Overview Map of I-49". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=I-49+(Southern+Terminus)&daddr=31.452087,-92.7690438+to:I-49+(Northern+Terminus)&hl=en&ll=31.428663,-92.631226&spn=2.58248,5.410767&sll=31.409912,-92.570801&sspn=2.582996,5.410767&geocode=FTOqzQEdLviD-g%3BFbfr3wEd7XR4-im90zG-26I6hjF8NzVCyM4d5Q%3BFR3p7wEdXVdp-g&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=8&via=1&t=m&z=8. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  3. ^ "Missouri Getting New Interstate, at Least in name". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Associated Press. September 4, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Previous Facts of the Day". 50th Anniversary Interstate Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 27, 2007. 
  5. ^ "I-49 North". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/public_info/projects/home.aspx?key=21
  7. ^ "I-49 is open from LA-1 to Arkansas State Line" (Press release). Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. January 11, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  8. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (November 10, 2014) (PDF). I-49 North Extension I-220 to the Arkansas State Line (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by LaDOTD. http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/public_info/projects/docs_test/21/documents/I-49n_presentation_layout_Updated_November_2014.pdf. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  9. ^ "Interstate 49 Northbound (Shreveport Vicinity)". Louisiana @ SouthEastRoads. Southeastroads.com. February 27, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2013. [self-published source]
  10. ^ a b "I-49 Inner-City Connector-Shreveport". I-49 Inner-City Connector-Shreveport. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing


Interstate 49
Previous state:
Terminus
Louisiana Next state:
Arkansas