U.S. Route 49

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U.S. Route 49 marker

U.S. Route 49
Route information
Length: 516 mi[1] (830 km)
Existed: 1926[1] – present
Major junctions
South end: US 90 at Gulfport, MS
 

I-10 at Gulfport, MS
I-59 at Hattiesburg, MS
I-20 / I-55 at Jackson, MS
I-40 at Brinkley, AR

US 63 at Jonesboro, AR
North end: US 62 / AR 1 / AR 139 at Piggott, AR
Highway system

U.S. Route 49 is a north–south United States highway. The highway's northern terminus is in Piggott, Arkansas, at an intersection with US Route 62/Highway 1/Highway 139 (US 62/AR 1/AR 139). Its southern terminus is in Gulfport, Mississippi, at an intersection with U.S. Route 90. US 49 is approximately 516 miles (830 km) in length.

It was at the junction of US 49 and U.S. Route 61 that blues singer Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the Devil. The highway is also the subject of songs by Big Joe Williams and Howlin' Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett).

Route description[edit]

Mississippi[edit]

Lengths
  mi[2] km
MS 334 538
AR 182 293
Total 516 830

U.S. Route 49 has historically been one of the most important highways in Mississippi. It was the state's first highway to see a significant rural segment four-laned.[3] Today, it is the only four-laned route directly connecting Jackson, the state's capital and largest city, to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.[4] Some urban segments along this portion of the route maintain three or more traffic lanes in each direction. Highway 49 serves as a primary hurricane evacuation route for Gulf Coast residents.[5]

Southern terminus of US 49 at US 90 in Gulfport

The highway begins near the Port of Gulfport, Mississippi at a junction with U.S. Route 90. Highway 49 provides a major connection between the port, casinos, beaches and downtown with Interstate 10 on the city's north end. North of I-10, US 49 passes through suburban areas and enters De Soto National Forest. Various state highway interchanges and junctions are encountered before the route passes near Camp Shelby, then through an interchange with U.S. Route 98 just south of Hattiesburg. At this point, travelers have an option of continuing on U.S. 49 through Hattiesburg or using a U.S. 98 / Interstate 59 bypass which reconnects with 49 in the northern part of the city. Continuing on 49 brings one to the cloverleaf interchange at U.S. Route 11, one of very few in the South to lack merging lanes between loop ramps, thus altering the usual weaving patterns which plague many of these interchanges.

U.S. 49 passes Hattiesburg's primary medical facility, Forrest General Hospital, and the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi before arriving at another, more standard cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 59. Suburban development is soon encountered as the road returns to rural environs. Interchanges between Hattiesburg and Jackson provide access to various state highways, and one at Collins provides access to U.S. Route 84.

US 49W passing through the Mississippi Delta north of Yazoo City

At Jackson, U.S. Highway 49 shares an alignment with segments of Interstates 20 and 220 before turning northwest to Yazoo City. A split in the highway, rare in the U.S. system, begins here, with both routes heading into the Mississippi Delta, U.S. 49W serving the towns of Belzoni and Indianola, where it junctions U.S. Route 82 and its four-lane segment ends, while two-laned 49E serves Tchula before encountering U.S. 82 at Greenwood. Both routes continue north from 82 and are linked again at Tutwiler, Mississippi. Continuing northwest, the highway passes through an interchange with U.S. Route 61 as it enters Clarksdale. It is at Clarksdale that Highway 49 encounters "The Crossroads", the legendary junction with State Street (an old alignment of U.S. 61) where the great blues musician Robert Johnson is reputed to have sold his soul to the devil.[6]

From Clarksdale, Highway 49 continues north toward its crossing of the Mississippi River, where it enters Arkansas near the town of Helena.

The legendary "Crossroads" at Clarksdale, Mississippi inspired the song Cross Road Blues.
Split of U.S. Route 49 in Tutwiler, Mississippi

It is notable that for several years during the 1930s, a second split route existed on this highway in South Mississippi, similar to but shorter than the split that still exists in the Delta region.[7] Between Brooklyn and Hattiesburg, travelers had the option of a 24-mile direct route via 49W, or a somewhat shorter but broken route on 49E, serving the small community of McCallum.

In May 2005 portions of extant Highway 49E were renamed the "Emmett Till Memorial Highway."[8]

The Mississippi section of U.S. 49 and the routes of U.S. 49E and 49W are defined at Mississippi Code Annotated § 65-3-3.

Arkansas[edit]

US 49 enters Arkansas near Helena-West Helena in Phillips County. US 49 Business runs around the north part of the city, with the main route meeting AR 242 in the southern portion. US 49 continues west to Walnut Corner where the route meets AR 1 (and briefly AR 316). The US 49/AR 1 concurrency ends in Marvell, and US 49 enters Monroe County.

Upon entering Monroe County, US 49 turns north to begin a concurrency with AR 39. US 49 also crosses US 79 before meeting US 70 near Brinkley. The route crosses Interstate 40 north of Brinkley prior to entering Woodruff County. US 49 runs northeast through rural Woodruff County, not crossing of concurring with any important routes before crossing into Cross County.

The route meets US 64 in Fair Oaks, and meets AR 42 in southern Hickory Ridge. It then enters Poinsett County, concurring with AR 214 from Fisher until Waldenburg. The route crosses AR 14 in Waldenburg.

US 49 runs along south Jonesboro, with US 49 Business formerly running into town. US 49 concurs with US 63 until again joining AR 1. The two routes angle north through downtown Jonesboro, crossing US 63 Business and passing by ASU Stadium before leaving town. US 49/AR 1 pass around Brookland, with US 49 Business serving the community.

Entering Greene County, US 49/AR 1 briefly meets AR 358 before entering Paragould. The routes cross US 412 near Kirk Field in Paragould, also meeting AR 135 north of town. US 49 Business also rejoins US 49/AR 1 north of Paragould.

Continuing northeast through rural Greene County, US 49/AR 1 meet AR 34 in Marmaduke and AR 90 in Rector. The route turns north to Piggott at Hargrave Corner, terminating at US 62/AR 139. The Arkansas portion of US 49 is mainly two-lane undivided.

History[edit]

One of the original US highways, US 49 was extended north from Clarksdale, Mississippi to US 70 in Brinkley, Arkansas via U.S. Route 61 and Highway 6 in 1963.[9] US 49 was again extended north in 1978, replacing Highway 39 between Brinkley and Jonesboro.[10] Highway 1 between Jonesboro and Piggott was redesignated as US 49 in 1979.[11]

US 49 in Helena-West Helena, AR
US 49 and Highway 1 concur in Marvell, AR
US 49 south of Highway 362 junction near Louisiana Purchase State Park, AR
US 49 south of the US 70 junction in south Brinkley, Arkansas
US 49 with U.S. Routes 61 and 278

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location mi[12] km Destinations Notes
Mississippi Harrison Gulfport US 90 – Biloxi, Long Beach, Ship Island Ferry
I-10 – New Orleans I-10 exit 34
MS 53 north – Poplarville, Lyman Fish Hatchery
  MS 67 south – D'Iberville, Biloxi interchange
Stone Wiggins MS 149 north to MS 29 – Downtown Wiggins, South Wiggins, Flint Creek Water Park
MS 26 – Poplarville, Lucedale interchange
MS 149 south to MS 29 – Downtown Wiggins, Flint Creek Water Park
Forrest   MS 13 north – Lumberton
Hattiesburg US 98 to I-59 – Columbia, Laurel, Lucedale, Mobile interchange
Edwards Street (MS 969)
US 11 (Broadway Drive) – Purvis interchange
MS 198 west (Hardy Street) to I-59 / US 98 – Columbia
Old Highway 42 - Petal former MS 42 east
I-59 / MS 42 east – New Orleans, Gulf Coast, Laurel, Airport I-59 exit 67; south end of MS 42 overlap
  MS 42 west – Sumrall, Prentiss north end of MS 42 overlap
Covington   MS 598 east – Sanford
Seminary MS 589 south – Sumrall
MS 590 east – Seminary
Collins MS 184 – Downtown Collins interchange
US 84 – Prentiss, Laurel interchange
  MS 149 north
Mount Olive MS 35 – Bassfield, Columbia, Mount Olive, Mize
MS 149 south – Mount Olive
Simpson Magee MS 149 north
Siloam Road - Siloam
MS 28 east – Mize, Laurel south end of MS 28 overlap
MS 541 north – Downtown Magee south end of MS 28 overlap
MS 28 west / MS 541 south – Georgetown, Hazlehurst north end of MS 28 / MS 541 overlap
MS 149 to MS 545 – Boswell Regional Center interchange
  MS 149 south – Boswell Regional Center, Simpson County Lake
Mendenhall MS 149 north
MS 540
MS 13 – Mendenhall, Prentiss, Puckett interchange
D'Lo Walnut Street - D'Lo, D'Lo Water Park
  MS 149 south
Rankin Florence MS 469 – Downtown Florence, Brandon
Richland Old Highway 49 proposed MS 149 north; northbound exit and southbound entrance
East Frontage Road / West Frontage Road interchange
Pearl I-20 east to US 80 – Flowood, Meridian, Airport south end of I-20 overlap; US 49 south follows exit 47A
Richland I-55 north – North Jackson, Grenada I-20 exit 46; south end of I-55 overlap
see I-20
Jackson I-20 west – Vicksburg north end of I-20 overlap; south end of I-220 overlap; US 49 north follows exit 41
see I-220
I-220 north / Medgar Evers Boulevard north end of I-220 overlap; US 49 north follows exit 5B
Natchez Trace Parkway interchange
Madison Flora MS 22 – Edwards, Flora, Canton, Mississippi Petrified Forest National Natural Landmark
Yazoo Bentonia Bentonia proposed MS 830
MS 433 – Satartia, Bentonia
MS 830 east – Bentonia
  MS 16 east – Benton, Canton south end of MS 16 overlap
Yazoo City MS 16 west / MS 149 north – Downtown Yazoo City north end of MS 16 overlap
US 49E north / US 49W north / MS 3 south – Greenwood, Indianola, Vicksburg interchange
Gap in route
Tallahatchie Tutwiler US 49E south / US 49W south – Greenwood, Indianola south end of MS 3 overlap
MS 3 north – Marks, Lambert north end of MS 3 overlap
MS 726 west
Coahoma Clarksdale MS 322 east south end of MS 322 overlap
US 61 south / US 278 west / MS 322 west – Clarksdale, Cleveland, Greenville, Delta Blues Museum interchange; north end of MS 322 overlap; south end of US 61 / US 278 overlap
US 278 east / MS 6 – Clarksdale, Batesville north end of US 278 overlap
  MS 161 south – Lyon, North Clarksdale
  Friars Point-Highway 61 / Highway 61-Jonestown - Friars Point, Moon Lake proposed MS 316
  US 61 north / MS 315 south (Lula-Rich) – Tunica, Memphis, Sledge, Sardis north end of US 61 overlap
  MS 1 south – Friars Point, North Delta Museum
Mississippi River 334
0.00
538
0.00
Helena Bridge
Arkansas Phillips Helena-West Helena 0.99 1.59 US 49B north / Great River Road north / Crowley's Ridge Pkwy. (Biscoe Drive) – Business District south end of Great River Road overlap
1.35 2.17 AR 20 / Great River Road south to AR 44 – Lakeview, Elaine, Harbor and Industrial Park north end of Great River Road overlap
3.98 6.41 AR 242 to AR 185
6.28 10.11 US 49B south (North Sebastian Street) – Business District
6.88 11.07 AR 185 north – Municipal Airport
Walnut Corner 12.48 20.08 AR 1 north / AR 85 south – Barton, Lake View
Kindall 15.45 24.86 AR 316 north – Rondo
Poplar Grove 17.58 28.29 AR 316 south – Trenton
Marvell 20.62 33.18 AR 243 north
21.52 34.63 AR 1 south – DeWitt
  27.56 44.35 AR 39 south – Postelle, Turner
  29.67 47.75 AR 86 west – Holly Grove
Monroe   33.56 54.01 AR 362 east – Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park
  35.60 57.29 AR 39 north – Blackton
  36.70 59.06 AR 366
  38.67 62.23 US 79 – Clarendon, Marianna, Stuttgart, Holly Grove
  41.30 66.47 AR 39S – Monroe
  43.55 70.09 AR 39 south / AR 241 to AR 17 – Rich
  50.67 81.55 AR 238S west
Brinkley 51.80 83.36 US 70 west – DeValls Bluff south end of US 70 overlap
52.55 84.57 AR 238 east (West Sycamore Street)
53.39 85.92 US 70 east (West Cypress Street) north end of US 70 overlap
54.97 88.47 I-40 (US 63) – Little Rock, Memphis I-40 exit 216
56.13 90.33 AR 17 north – Cotton Plant
Woodruff   62.47 100.54 AR 38 west – Cotton Plant
Hunter 66.28 106.67 AR 306 east to AR 78
  71.61 115.25 AR 269 north to AR 145
Penrose 76.23 122.68 AR 284 east to AR 193
Cross Fair Oaks 80.26 129.17 US 64 west – Bald Knob south end of US 64 overlap
80.28 129.20 US 64 east – Wynne north end of US 64 overlap
Tilton 84.88 136.60 AR 364 east – Vanndale
Hickory Ridge 90.44 145.55 AR 42 to AR 37 – Cherry Valley
Poinsett Fisher 96.67 155.58 AR 214 east – White Hall
Waldenburg 102.74 165.34 AR 14 – Newport, Harrisburg
  104.9 168.8 AR 956-1 – Lake Hogue Public Fishing
  109.34 175.97 AR 214 west – Grubbs
Poinsett
Craighead
  113.42 182.53 AR 158
Craighead Jonesboro 120.50 193.93 AR 226S west to AR 226 / US 67
125.53 202.02 US 63 north / AR 18 east (Southwest Drive) – Walnut Ridge, Hoxie south end of US 63 overlap; US 49 south follows exit 45
126.75 203.98 AR 1B (Harrisburg Road) US 63 exit 44
128.40 206.64 US 63 south / AR 1 south (Stadium Boulevard) / Caraway Road – Memphis, Harrisburg north end of US 63 overlap; south end of AR 1 overlap; US 49 north follows exit 42
129.53 208.46 US 63B south / AR 18 (East Highland Drive) – Blytheville
131.74 212.01 AR 91 north (East Johnson Avenue) to AR 141 – Jonesboro Business District AR 91 southern terminus
132.31 212.93 AR 351 north / Crowley's Ridge Pkwy. (Old Greensboro Road) south end of AR 351 overlap
132.75 213.64 AR 351 (Airport Road) – Airport north end of AR 351 overlap
  136.7 220.0 US 49B north – Brookland Business District
  140.60 226.27 US 49B south – Brookland Business District
Greene Paragould 144.65 232.79 AR 69 north
US 412S
147.34 237.12 AR 358 east
147.87 237.97 AR 358 west
149.71 240.93 US 412 / US 49B north – Walnut Ridge, Cardwell, MO, Paragould Business District, Airport
149.97 241.35 US 49Y to US 412 west – Walnut Ridge
151.13 243.22 AR 135 / Crowley's Ridge Pkwy. – Corning, Business District
151.88 244.43 US 49B south
Marmaduke 161.44 259.81 AR 34 – Business District
Clay Rector 168.86 271.75 AR 90 west – Rector Business District south end of AR 90 overlap
169.37 272.57 AR 119 south
Hargrave Corner 172.33 277.34 AR 90 east – Kennett, MO north end of AR 90 overlap
Piggott 182.33 293.43 US 62 / AR 1 north / Crowley's Ridge Pkwy. – Corning, St. Francis, Piggott Business District north end of AR 1 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

Related Routes[edit]

Bannered routes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 02:55, 4 July 2006 (UTC).
  2. ^ "U.S. Route Number Database" (Dec 2009 ed.). American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  3. ^ Official Mississippi Highway Map of 1960 retrieved 7 Sept 2011
  4. ^ Official Mississippi State Highway Map, retrieved 7 Sept 2011
  5. ^ Official Mississippi Hurricane Evacuation Map, retrieved 7 Sept 2011
  6. ^ Bluesman at 100; Ever at a crossroads (c) 2011 Los Angeles Times, retrieved 14 Sept 2011
  7. ^ Official Mississippi Highway Map of 1936, retrieved 29 Sept 2011
  8. ^ "Emmett Till Museum." Village of Glendora. Retrieved on October 17, 2010.
  9. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Arkansas State Highway Commission. March 20, 1963. pp. 903–904. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Arkansas State Highway Commission. April 26, 1978. pp. 269–270. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Minutes of the Meeting" (PDF). Arkansas State Highway Commission. April 25, 1979. p. 66. Retrieved January 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ Planning and Research Division (2010). "Arkansas Road Log Database" (ZIP). Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
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