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: 243.13 mi[2] (391.28 km)
239.25 miles (385.04 km) opened[1]
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 243.13 miles (391.28 km) in a north–south direction in the U.S. state of Louisiana.[2][3] 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,[2] necessitating a detour via I-220 and US 71/LA 1. The project is scheduled for completion in the summer or fall of 2017.[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.

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 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.[6]

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;[7] the section to just south of the Arkansas state line opened in March 2014.[8] The segment from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line was opened in early 2015.[9]

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".[10] 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".[11]

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.[11] 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.[12] 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).[13]

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.[14]

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 summer or fall of 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.[15][16][17] 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.[18]

Exit list[edit]

Parish Location mi[3] km Exit Destinations Notes
Lafayette Lafayette 0.0 0.0 US 167 south – Lafayette Southern terminus; southern end of US 167 overlap
0.0–
0.6
0.0–
0.97
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 (North University Avenue)
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, Bunkie
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) Southern 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) Northern end of US 167 overlap; southern 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) Northern 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 (West Bert Kouns Industrial Loop)
201.3–
202.4
324.0–
325.7
201 LA 3132 (Inner Loop Expressway) – Dallas, Texarkana LA 3132 exit 7
203.3–
203.8
327.2–
328.0
202 LA 511 (East 70th Street)
204.2–
204.8
328.6–
329.6
203 Hollywood Avenue, Pierremont Road
206.0–
206.6
331.5–
332.5
205 Kings Highway
206.9–
207.6
333.0–
334.1
206 I-20 – Dallas, Monroe No northbound entrance; numbered as exits 206A and 206B; exit 17B on I-20
207.6 334.1 206C Pete Harris Drive, Murphy Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
Temporary gap
I-220 – Dallas, Monroe Under construction; scheduled to open by summer or fall 2017[4]
LA 3194 (MLK Drive) Under construction; scheduled to open by summer or fall 2017[4]
215 LA 1 (North Market Street) Northbound entrance and southbound exit only, pending completion of southern extension
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. ^ "FHWA Route Log and Finder List". Federal Highway Administration. January 27, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ a b Google (June 9, 2013). "Overview Map of I-49" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Aerial View of I-49 Construction at I-220". Shreveport, LA: KTBS-TV. October 5, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Missouri Getting New Interstate, at Least in name". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Associated Press. September 4, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration. "Previous Facts of the Day". 50th Anniversary Interstate Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 27, 2007. 
  7. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "I-49 North". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Projects". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Interstate 49 Geaux South". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ "Five Things to Know about the I-49 South Connector". The Daily Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  13. ^ Lebouef, Neil. "I-49 Connector". Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  14. ^ "New Construction on I-49 South to Begin Soon". The Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. April 16, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  15. ^ Warner, Doug (February 25, 2015). "Filling the Gap: Will I-49 go through Shreveport, or around?". KSLA News 12. Shreveport. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport". I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport. 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ 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: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata


Interstate 49
Previous state:
Terminus
Louisiana Next state:
Arkansas