Louisiana Highway 23
|Maintained by Louisiana DOTD|
|Length:||73.6 mi (118.4 km)|
|Existed:||1955 renumbering – present|
|South end:||Jump Basin Road in Venice|
US 90 Bus. / LA 18 in Gretna
|North end:||LA 428 in Gretna|
Louisiana Highway 23 (LA 23) is a north–south state highway in Louisiana that serves Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes. It spans 74.0 miles (119.1 km) in roughly a southeast to northwest direction. It is known locally as Belle Chasse Highway, Lafayette Street, the West Bank Expressway, and Franklin Avenue.
LA 23 connects Gretna and Venice. Between Belle Chasse and Venice, the highway serves as the main road along the west bank of the Mississippi River. In Belle Chasse, the highway crosses the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway via two antiquated crossings: southbound traffic uses the 1955-vintage Belle Chasse Tunnel, a narrow crossing that does not allow passing and northbound traffic uses the 1967-vintage Judge Perez Bridge, a vertical lift bridge. LA 23 runs through the small rural towns of Jesuit Bend, Naomi, Myrtle Grove, West Pointe A La Hache, Port Sulphur, Nairn, Empire, Buras, Triumph, and Bootheville. With the exception of the portion running through Port Sulphur, the entire highway is four lanes (although it is not controlled access). It is a critical hurricane evacuation route for thousands of inhabitants along the west bank of the Mississippi River.
At one time, LA 23 ran straight across the Westbank Expressway (U.S. Highway 90 Business), using Lafayette Street, 5th Street and Huey P. Long Avenue through downtown Gretna and crossing the Jackson Avenue-Gretna Ferry onto Jackson Avenue in New Orleans. By 1986, it had been rerouted, running along the Westbank Expressway frontage roads to Stumpf Boulevard and turning north on Stumpf and Franklin Avenue to end at Burmaster Street (LA 428). The former LA 23 to 4th Street in downtown Gretna became an extension of LA 18, while the three blocks beyond to the ferry (and Jackson Avenue in New Orleans) are now unnumbered. Before the 1950s, LA 23 went through Terrytown via present-day Behrman Highway (LA 428).
Twinning of the highway in Plaquemines Parish was begun by Judge Perez in the 1960s. The vertical lift bridge in Belle Chasse was added in 1968, and the Empire Jetty Bridge over Dollut Canal, a high-rise bridge, opened in 1976, replacing a 26-year old lift bridge.
In Plaquemines Parish, sections of the original LA 23, since bypassed, are signed as Parish Road 11 (although some maps erroneously list these routes as LA-11), such as in Jesuit Bend and the area south of Port Sulphur through Empire, Buras, and Fort Jackson. Prior to Louisiana's 1955 highway renumbering, LA 23 through Plaquemines Parish was LA 31, and there are some bridges, such as the Bayou Barriere crossings in northern Belle Chasse, that still bear the original numbering.
|Plaquemines||Venice||0.0||0.0||Jump Basin Road||Southern terminus;
Local road continues southwest towards Tidewater
|Empire||19.6||31.5||Bridge over Bayou Long/Doullut Canal|
|Belle Chasse||67.0||107.8||LA 406 (Woodland Highway)||Southern terminus of LA 406|
|68.0||109.4||Judge Perez Bridge (northbound)/Belle Chasse Tunnel (southbound) across Gulf Intracoastal Waterway|
|68.4||110.1||LA 3017 (Engineers Road)||Southern terminus of LA 3017|
|68.6||110.4||Bridge over Outfall Canal|
|Jefferson||69.1||111.2||LA 428 (Behrman Highway)||Southern terminus of LA 428|
US 90 Bus. west (West Bank Expressway)
LA 18 west (Lafayette Street)
|South end of U.S. 90 Business concurrency (LA 23 uses service roads only);
Exit 7 (U.S. 90 Business);
Eastern terminus of LA 18;
Partially unsigned junction
US 90 Bus. east (West Bank Expressway) – New Orleans
|North end of U.S. 90 Business concurrency (LA 23 uses service roads only);
Exit 8 (U.S. 90 Business);
Junction includes incorrect signage
|73.1||117.6||LA 466 (Kepler Street)||Eastern terminus of LA 466|
|73.6||118.4||LA 428 (Franklin Avenue, Burmaster Street)||Northern terminus|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Microsoft. "Map of LA 23". Bing Maps (Map). Cartography by Nokia. http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?mapurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Attached_KML/Louisiana_Highway_23&action=raw. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
- 1975 AAA Triptik map of New Orleans
- Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, 1986 Official Highway Map