Interstate 49 in Louisiana

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Interstate 49 marker

Interstate 49
Opened sections of I-49 in Louisiana highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Louisiana DOTD
Length: 243.362 mi[2] (391.653 km)
238.269 miles (383.457 km) opened[a]
Existed: 1984 – present
Major junctions
South end: I-10 / US 167 in Lafayette
 
North end: I-49 at Arkansas state line north of Ida
Highway system
  • Louisiana Highway System
LA 48 LA 49
Interstate 49 near Chopin

Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway that spans 243.36 miles (391.65 km) in a north–south direction in the U.S. state of Louisiana.[2] It runs from I-10 in Lafayette to the Arkansas state line north of 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 highways, such as US 190, US 167, US 165, US 84, and I-20. 5.25 miles (8.45 km) of the route is still under construction between I-220 and LA 1 on the northwest side of Shreveport,[3] necessitating a detour via I-220 and US 71/LA 1. The project is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2018.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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.[6]

On the north side of Shreveport, the route resumes at Dr Martin Luther King Dr before having an interchange with LA 1 and travels northward through Caddo Parish, passing between the small communities of Gilliam and Hosston. I-49 crosses the Arkansas state line just north of Ida and proceeds toward the city of Texarkana.[7]

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 I-10 and I-20 with no connection in between. After I-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.[8]

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 (58 km) 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, 10 are complete and one is under construction as of January 2015, and $460 million of $622 million needed to complete the project has been secured. An 18.9-mile (30.4 km) section between Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) and US 71 opened on November 27, 2013;[9] the section to just south of the Arkansas state line opened in March 2014.[10] The segment from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line was opened in early 2015.[11]

Future[edit]

I-49 Geaux South[edit]

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (La DOTD) is currently working to extend I-49 from its current terminus in Lafayette south and east to New Orleans along the existing US 90 corridor. The project is officially referred to as the "Interstate 49 Geaux South" program, or more commonly, "I-49 South".[12] This portion of US 90 is presently a divided four- and six-lane highway with several sections of freeway completed between Broussard and Raceland. In the New Orleans area, I-49 is planned to follow US 90 Bus. (the Westbank Expressway) through Westwego, Gretna, and across the Mississippi River via the Crescent City Connection to a terminus at I-10 in the New Orleans Central Business District. "Future I-49" signage is visible along this portion of the corridor, although as of 2015, construction has yet to begin.[citation needed] There are many obstacles in the completion of the I-49 corridor in Louisiana. Cost has been an ongoing issue from the beginning, and this only increases yearly.[citation needed] In September 2015, however, La DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas stated, "Completing I-49 South is a top priority for DOTD".[13]

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.[13] It is projected to follow the existing path of the Evangeline Thruway, a divided six-lane surface roadway that passes just to the east of the downtown area. Much of the proposed 5.5 miles (8.9 km) will be elevated and is expected to cost between $750 and $850 million, making it the costliest portion of the entire 160-mile (260 km) route to be constructed. As of October 2015, engineer planning has not begun, nor has funding been secured for the project.[14] The remainder of the distance between the airport and LA 88 is planned to be a six-lane at-grade freeway with a 2-mile (3.2 km) segment of eight-lane elevated freeway through the neighboring city of Broussard.[citation needed] The planning is in cooperation with the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).[15]

In April 2015, La. DOTD accepted proposals for an upcoming design-build project to construct an interchange at the junction of US 90 and LA 318, which is located in St. Mary Parish between Jeanerette and Baldwin. LA 318 travels southward from the St. Mary Sugar Co-Op on LA 182 at Sorrel and crosses US 90 at grade on the way to the Port of West St. Mary. The interchange is one of many projects along the projected I-49 corridor that is expected to improve traffic flow, safety, and hurricane evacuation.[16]

Shreveport area[edit]

La DOTD is also in the process of closing the last gap in the "I-49 North" project between I-20 and LA 1 in Shreveport. The portion north of I-220, which includes an interchange with LA 3194, is under construction with an estimated completion date in the spring of 2018. 4.25 miles (6.84 km) of this section, extending from LA 3194 to LA 1, was opened only to northbound traffic on May 31, 2017.[4] Several options are under consideration to complete the remaining portion of I-49 south of I-220. A direct connection, known as the Inner City Connector, is controversial since its path is projected through the residential Allendale neighborhood, which would necessitate the displacement of many of its residents. A no-build alternative would route through traffic via the existing LA 3132 (Inner Loop Expressway) and I-220 alignments after necessary improvements to those highways are carried out.[17][18][19] On March 5, 2016, a small group of Allendale residents known as the LOOP-IT group held a rally to protest against the Inner City Connector but voiced support for a business boulevard serving local traffic.[20]

Exit list[edit]

Parish Location mi[2] km Exit Destinations Notes
Lafayette Lafayette 0.000–
0.657
0.000–
1.057
1A–B I-10 – Baton Rouge, Lake Charles
US 167 south – Lafayette
Southern terminus; southern end of US 167 concurrency; signed as exits 1A (east) and 1B (west); exit 103 on I-10
0.926–
1.684
1.490–
2.710
1C Pont Des Mouton Road
LafayetteCarencro line 2.520–
3.249
4.056–
5.229
2 LA 98 (Gloria Switch Road)
Carencro 4.463–
5.108
7.183–
8.221
4 LA 726 – Carencro Eastern terminus of LA 726; to LA 1252 via frontage roads
7.369–
8.182
11.859–
13.168
7 LA 182
St. Landry Grand Coteau 11.095–
11.853
17.856–
19.076
11 LA 93 – Grand Coteau, Sunset
Opelousas 15.804–
16.406
25.434–
26.403
15 LA 3233 (Harry Guilbeau Road) Eastern terminus of LA 3233
17.316–
17.973
27.867–
28.925
17 Judson Walsh Drive
18.619–
19.213
29.964–
30.920
18 LA 31 (Creswell Lane) To Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino
19.453–
20.346
31.307–
32.744
19 US 190 – Opelousas, Baton Rouge Signed northbound as exits 19A (east) and 19B (west)
23.265–
24.075
37.441–
38.745
23 US 167 north / LA 744 – Ville Platte Northern end of US 167 concurrency; western terminus of LA 744
Washington 25.376–
25.695
40.839–
41.352
25 LA 103 – Washington, Port Barre
27.378–
28.256
44.061–
45.474
27 LA 10 – Lebeau To Washington via LA 10 west; LA 10 is concurrent with LA 182 (not signed here)
34.610–
35.311
55.699–
56.828
Grand Prairie Rest Area
Evangeline
No major junctions
St. Landry 40.263–
40.951
64.797–
65.904
40 LA 29 – Ville Platte
Evangeline
No major junctions
Avoyelles 46.851–
47.538
75.399–
76.505
46 LA 106 – St. Landry LA 106 eastbound to Bunkie, westbound to Chicot State Park and Louisiana State Arboretum
Bunkie 53.656–
54.490
86.351–
87.693
53 LA 115 – Bunkie
Evangeline
No major junctions
Rapides 56.841–
57.580
91.477–
92.666
56 LA 181 – Cheneyville
61.280–
62.015
98.621–
99.803
61 US 167 – Meeker, Turkey Creek
Lecompte 66.754–
67.399
107.430–
108.468
66 LA 112 – Lecompte, Forest Hill
Woodworth 73.333–
74.251
118.018–
119.495
73 LA 3265 / PR 22 – Woodworth Eastern terminus of LA 3265; western terminus of PR 22
Alexandria 80.250–
81.461
129.150–
131.099
80 US 71 / US 167 south (MacArthur Drive)

US 71 Byp. begins
Southern end of US 71 Byp. / US 167 concurrency; no southbound exit to US 71 north (signed at exit 81); exit 63 on US 71
82.159–
82.198
132.222–
132.285
81 LA 3250 (Sugarhouse Road) to US 71 north (MacArthur Drive) Northbound entrance and southbound exit
83.586–
84.412
134.519–
135.848
83 Broadway Avenue
84.693–
85.617
136.300–
137.787
84 US 167 north / LA 28 east (Pineville Expressway) / LA 1 (Casson Street) Northern end of US 167 concurrency; southern end of LA 28 concurrency; no southbound exit to LA 1 (signed at exit 85A); to LA 28 Bus. via LA 1 west
85.034–
86.369
136.849–
138.997
85A M. L. King Drive / Elliott Street to LA 1 – Downtown Alexandria Signed northbound as M. L. King Drive, southbound as Elliott Street to LA 1
85.637–
85.715
137.819–
137.945
85B Monroe Street / Medical Center Drive Northbound exit and southbound entrance
86.395–
87.406
139.039–
140.666
86 US 71 / US 165 / LA 28 west (MacArthur Drive)

US 71 Byp. ends
Northern end of US 71 Byp. / LA 28 concurrency; exit 71 on US 71
90.300–
91.253
145.324–
146.857
90 LA 498 (Air Base Road) Western terminus of LA 498; to Alexandria International Airport (England Airpark)
Boyce 94.579–
95.470
152.210–
153.644
94 PR 23 (Rapides Station Road) Location also known as Rapides
98.700–
98.926
158.842–
159.206
98 LA 1 – Boyce Northbound exit and southbound entrance
99.528–
100.587
160.175–
161.879
99 LA 8 east / LA 1200 – Boyce Southern end of LA 8 concurrency; to Colfax via LA 8 east
Rodemacher 103.353–
103.923
166.331–
167.248
103 LA 8 west – Flatwoods Northern end of LA 8 concurrency; to LA 1 via LA 8 Spur (signed as LA 8)
Lena 107.728–
108.598
173.371–
174.772
107 Lena
Natchitoches Chopin 113.719–
114.539
183.013–
184.333
113 LA 490 – Chopin
Derry 119.223–
120.090
191.871–
193.266
119 LA 119 – Cloutierville To Gorum via LA 119 west
Cypress 127.708–
128.661
205.526–
207.060
127 LA 120 – Cypress, Flora To Cane River Creole National Historical Park / Oakland Plantation
Natchitoches 132.770–
133.455
213.673–
214.775
132 LA 478
138.215–
138.858
222.435–
223.470
138 LA 6 – Natchitoches, Many To Toledo Bend Reservoir and Northwestern State University
142.865–
143.564
229.919–
231.044
142 PR 547 (Posey Road)
Allen 148.728–
149.745
239.355–
240.991
148 LA 485 – Allen, Powhatan
155.164–
156.113
249.712–
251.240
155 LA 174 – Ajax, Lake End
DeSoto 162.671–
163.519
261.794–
263.158
162 US 371 / LA 177 – Pleasant Hill, Coushatta Southern terminus of US 371
169.743–
170.574
273.175–
274.512
169 Asseff Road
172.814–
173.608
278.117–
279.395
172 US 84 – Grand Bayou, Mansfield To Mansfield State Historic Site and Toledo Bend State Park
177.594–
178.219
285.810–
286.816
177 LA 509 – Carmel
186.302–
187.097
299.824–
301.103
186 LA 175 – Kingston, Frierson
Stonewall 191.639–
192.345
308.413–
309.549
191 LA 3276 / PR 16 – Stonewall Eastern terminus of LA 3276; western terminus of PR 16
Caddo 196.779–
197.613
316.685–
318.027
196 Southern Loop
Shreveport 199.616–
200.532
321.251–
322.725
199 LA 526 (Bert Kouns-Industrial Loop)
200.891–
202.063
323.303–
325.189
201 LA 3132 – Dallas, Texarkana Exit 7 on LA 3132 (Inner Loop Expressway)
202.907–
203.538
326.547–
327.563
202 LA 511 (East 70th Street)
203.823–
204.497
328.021–
329.106
203 Hollywood Avenue, Pierremont Road
205.578–
206.298
330.846–
332.004
205 Kings Highway
206.515–
207.273
332.354–
333.574
206 I-20 – Monroe, Dallas No northbound entrance; to Bossier City via I-20 east; exit 17B on I-20
207.293 333.606 Pete Harris Drive, Murphy Street At-grade intersection
Gap in route; through traffic directed via exit 206 to I-20 west and I-220 north
210 I-220 – Monroe, Dallas Under construction; scheduled to open in spring 2018[4]
211 LA 3194 (Dr. M. L. King, Jr. Drive) Under construction (northbound entrance open); scheduled for completion in spring 2018[4]
212.386 341.802 215 LA 1 (North Market Street) Northbound entrance and southbound exit only, pending completion of southern extension
217.631–
218.332
350.243–
351.371
221 LA 173 – Dixie, Blanchard
219.573–
220.310
353.368–
354.555
223 LA 169 – Mooringsport
224.356–
225.190
361.066–
362.408
228 LA 530 – Belcher, Oil City
227.770–
228.359
366.560–
367.508
231 LA 170 – Gilliam, Vivian
230.406–
231.154
370.803–
372.006
234 US 71 – Hosston, Gilliam
233.432–
234.396
375.672–
377.224
237 LA 2 – Hosston, Plain Dealing
237.616–
238.165
382.406–
383.289
241 PR 16 – Mira
Ida 241.308–
242.209
388.348–
389.798
245 LA 168 – Ida, Rodessa
243.362 391.653 I-49 north – Texarkana Continuation in Arkansas
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For the federal government's purposes, the Federal Highway Administration lists Louisiana's completed portions of I-49 as totaling 239.25 miles (385.04 km) in length.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Adderly, Kevin (February 22, 2017). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways as of December 31, 2016". Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 2, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Highway Inventory Unit (2016). "LRS Conversion Tool". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  3. ^ Vitale, Marty (May 29, 2014). "Report to SCOH" (DOCX) (Report). Louisville, KY: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 4. Retrieved October 21, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d Heyen, Curtis (May 30, 2017). "Louisiana to Open Part of New Stretch of I-49 on Wednesday". Shreveport: KSLA. Retrieved June 3, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Missouri Getting New Interstate, at Least in name". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Associated Press. September 4, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Google (June 13, 2017). "Overview Map of I-49 in Louisiana (Southern Section)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  7. ^ Google (June 13, 2017). "Overview Map of I-49 in Louisiana (Northern Section)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 13, 2017. 
  8. ^ Federal Highway Administration. "Previous Facts of the Day". 50th Anniversary Interstate Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 27, 2007. 
  9. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "I-49 North". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Projects". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  11. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (January 11, 2015). "I-49 Is Open from LA-1 to Arkansas State Line" (Press release). Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  12. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Interstate 49 Geaux South". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (September 21, 2015). "DOTD announces next phase of I-49 Lafayette Connector Project". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Five Things to Know about the I-49 South Connector". The Daily Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  15. ^ Lebouef, Neil. "I-49 Connector". Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  16. ^ "New Construction on I-49 South to Begin Soon". The Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. April 16, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  17. ^ Warner, Doug (February 25, 2015). "Filling the Gap: Will I-49 go through Shreveport, or around?". KSLA News 12. Shreveport. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ Warner, Doug (March 21, 2015). "CC to DC: I-49 inner city connector "It's a no brainer"". KSLA News 12. Shreveport. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  19. ^ "I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport". I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport. 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  20. ^ Talamo, Lex (March 5, 2016). "Allendale community stages march, rally to raise awareness about I-49". The Times. Shreveport. Retrieved March 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Google

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 49
Previous state:
Terminus
Louisiana Next state:
Arkansas