Interstate 49 in Louisiana

From the AARoads Wiki: Read about the road before you go
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Interstate 49

Map
I-49 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Louisiana DOTD
Length247.219 mi[1] (397.860 km)
244.021 mi (392.714 km) opened[a]
ExistedJuly 1982–present
NHSEntire route
Southern segment
South end I-10 / US 167 in Lafayette
Major intersections
North end I-20 in Shreveport
Northern segment
South end I-220 in Shreveport
Major intersections
North end I-49 at the Arkansas state line
Location
CountryUnited States
StateLouisiana
ParishesLafayette, St. Landry, Evangeline, Avoyelles, Rapides, Natchitoches, DeSoto, Caddo
Highway system
  • Louisiana State Highway System
LA 48 LA 49
I-49 near Chopin

Interstate 49 (I-49) is an Interstate Highway that spans 244.021 miles (392.714 km) in a north–south direction in the US state of Louisiana.[1] It runs from I-10 in Lafayette to the Arkansas state line north of Shreveport, largely paralleling the older US Highway 71 (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 I-20, 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] A southern extension of the route from Lafayette to New Orleans is planned along the US 90 corridor.

Route description

I-49 northbound at its southern terminus in Lafayette

I-49 begins its journey in Lafayette concurrent with US 167 from I-10 to Opelousas at exit 23. At Lafayette, motorists continuing southbound see the Interstate Highway change to US 90 (Evangeline Thruway), a major thoroughfare taking travelers toward 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.[4]

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 Highway 1 (LA 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.[4]

On the northside of Shreveport, the route resumes at I-220 before having interchanges with LA 3194 and LA 1 before traveling 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.[5]

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

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 (FHWA) 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 1978, with the first signed segment running concurrent with US 167 from I-10 to US 190 in Opelousas, opening in July 1982. Shortly afterwards, an additional section was opened to Washington. 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 (equivalent to $2.39 billion in 2022[7]).

I-49 North is a 36-mile (58 km) construction project that will connect I-220 in Shreveport to the Arkansas state line and has been divided into 11 segments. On November 27, 2013, the first 18.9-mile (30.4 km) section between LA 1 and US 71 opened to traffic;[8] the section to just south of the Arkansas state line opened in March 2014.[9] The segment from Shreveport to the Arkansas state line was opened in early 2015.[10] The portion between I-220 and LA 1, which includes an interchange with LA 3194, was estimated to be completed in early 2018. On May 31, 2017, 4.25 miles (6.84 km) of this section, extending from LA 3194 to LA 1, was opened only to northbound traffic.[11] On June 15, 2018, the entire 5.25-mile (8.45 km) portion of I-49 between I-220 and LA 1, including an interchange with I-220, was opened to traffic.[12] On October 17, 2018, the remaining interchange ramps were opened to traffic, making I-49 continuous from I-220 in Shreveport to the Arkansas state line.[13]

Future

I-49 Geaux South

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (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".[14] 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 Business (US 90 Bus.; 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. If this extension is completed, I-49 will meet I-10 twice, but 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. In September 2015, however, DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas stated, "Completing I-49 South is a top priority for DOTD".[15]

Future corridor I-49 sign in Lafayette

In the Lafayette area, the project is divided into two projects, the "I-49 Connector" and the rest of the Interstate from 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 statement.[15] 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.[16] Planning for this segment has been ongoing for decades, but construction has been delayed numerous times due to local opposition. The most recent attempt to being construction was halted due to federal officials launching civil rights investigation into the project in early 2023.[17][18][19] The remainder of the distance between the airport and LA 88 is planned to be a six-lane at-grade freeway with a two-mile (3.2 km) segment of eight-lane elevated freeway through the neighboring city of Broussard. The planning is in cooperation with the Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).[20]

In April 2015, the 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.[21] On April 27, 2018, the DOTD celebrated the opening of the junction of US 90 and LA 318 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.[22]

The DOTD started construction of US 90 (I-49 South) and the Albertson Parkway. Construction began in 2014 and finished in 2019. The northern construction project limit is 500 feet (150 m) north of the US 90/Celebrity Drive intersection. The southerly corridor construction project limit as measured along US 90 is approximately 1,100 feet (340 m) north of the US 90/Ambassador Caffery intersection. The limit for work on LA 182 extends from LA 96 to 100 feet (30 m) north of Celebrity Drive.[23] The project was approximately 2.4 miles (3.9 km) in length and includes two new frontage roads and construction of mainline interchange structures at the intersection of US 90 and Albertson Parkway and a bridge structure over the BNSF Railway line. The Albertson Parkway section of the project completed construction in October 2019.[24]

On August 22, 2022, the DOTD announced the start of a $136.52-million project to construct a new interchange at Ambassador Caffery Parkway and US 90 (future I-49).[25] On November 14, 2022, Governor John Bel Edwards was joined by the DOTD along with other state and local officials to celebrate the start of the Ambassador Caffery Interchange in Broussard.[26]

Shreveport area

The DOTD is also in the process of closing the last gap in the "I-49 North" project between I-20 and I-220 in Shreveport. A direct connection through Shreveport, known as the Inner-City Connector, is controversial since its path is projected to pass 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.[27][28][29] 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.[30] In January 2023, a new route was revealed where it would not impact Allendale.[31] In May 2023, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) secretary Eric Kalivoda announced that a route and design could be established by 2025 with a groundbreaking following about three years later.[32] However, public opposition to the connector, which would cost about $1 billion to construct, remains strong.[33]

Exit list

ParishLocationmi[1]kmExitDestinationsNotes
LafayetteLafayette0.000–
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; cloverleaf interchange
0.926–
1.684
1.490–
2.710
1CPont Des Mouton Road
LafayetteCarencro line2.520–
3.249
4.056–
5.229
2 LA 98 (Gloria Switch Road)
Carencro4.463–
5.108
7.183–
8.221
4 LA 726 – CarencroEastern terminus of LA 726; to LA 1252 via frontage roads
7.369–
8.182
11.859–
13.168
7 LA 182
St. LandryGrand Coteau11.095–
11.853
17.856–
19.076
11 LA 93 – Grand Coteau, Sunset
Opelousas15.804–
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
17Judson 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 RougeSigned 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
Washington25.376–
25.695
40.839–
41.352
25 LA 103 – Washington, Port Barre
27.378–
28.256
44.061–
45.474
27 LA 10 – LebeauTo 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
EvangelineNo major intersections
St. Landry40.263–
40.951
64.797–
65.904
40 LA 29 – Ville Platte
EvangelineNo major intersections
Avoyelles46.851–
47.538
75.399–
76.505
46 LA 106 – St. LandryLA 106 eastbound to Bunkie, westbound to Chicot State Park and Louisiana State Arboretum
Bunkie53.656–
54.490
86.351–
87.693
53 LA 115 – Bunkie
EvangelineNo major intersections
Rapides56.841–
57.580
91.477–
92.666
56 LA 181 – Cheneyville
61.280–
62.015
98.621–
99.803
61 US 167 – Meeker, Turkey Creek
Lecompte66.754–
67.399
107.430–
108.468
66 LA 112 – Lecompte, Forest Hill
Woodworth73.333–
74.251
118.018–
119.495
73 LA 3265 / PR 22 – WoodworthEastern terminus of LA 3265; western terminus of PR 22
Alexandria80.250–
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) or northbound entrance from southbound US 71; 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
83Broadway 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
85AM. L. King Drive / Elliott Street to LA 1 – Downtown AlexandriaSigned northbound as M. L. King Drive, southbound as Elliott Street to LA 1
85.637–
85.715
137.819–
137.945
85BMonroe Street / Medical Center DriveNorthbound 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)
Boyce94.579–
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 – BoyceNorthbound 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
Rodemacher103.353–
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)
Lena107.728–
108.598
173.371–
174.772
107Lena
NatchitochesChopin113.719–
114.539
183.013–
184.333
113 LA 490 – Chopin
Derry119.223–
120.090
191.871–
193.266
119 LA 119 – CloutiervilleTo Gorum via LA 119 west
Cypress127.708–
128.661
205.526–
207.060
127 LA 120 – Cypress, FloraTo Cane River Creole National Historical Park and Oakland Plantation
Natchitoches132.770–
133.455
213.673–
214.775
132 LA 478
138.215–
138.858
222.435–
223.470
138 LA 6 – Natchitoches, ManyTo Toledo Bend Reservoir and Northwestern State University
142.865–
143.564
229.919–
231.044
142 PR 547 (Posey Road)
Allen148.728–
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
DeSoto162.671–
163.519
261.794–
263.158
162 US 371 / LA 177 – Pleasant Hill, CoushattaSouthern terminus of US 371
169.743–
170.574
273.175–
274.512
169Asseff Road
172.814–
173.608
278.117–
279.395
172 US 84 – Grand Bayou, MansfieldTo 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
Stonewall191.639–
192.345
308.413–
309.549
191 LA 3276 / PR 16 – StonewallEastern terminus of LA 3276; western terminus of PR 16
I-69Proposed; Future I-69
Caddo196.779–
197.613
316.685–
318.027
196Southern Loop
Shreveport199.616–
200.532
321.251–
322.725
199 LA 526 (Bert Kouns-Industrial Loop)
200.891–
202.063
323.303–
325.189
201
I-49 north / 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
203Hollywood Avenue, Pierremont Road
205.578–
206.298
330.846–
332.004
205Kings Highway
206.515–
207.273
332.354–
333.574
206
I-49 north / I-20 – Monroe, Dallas
No northbound entrance; to Bossier City via I-20 east; exit 17B on I-20
207.293333.606Pete Harris Drive, Murphy StreetAt-grade intersection
Gap in route; through traffic directed via exit 206 to I-20 west and I-220 east
210.491–
211.583
338.752–
340.510
210
I-49 south / I-220 – Monroe, Dallas
Exit 6 on I-220; signed as exits 210A (east) & 210B (west)
212.112–
212.702
341.361–
342.311
211 LA 3194 (Dr. M. L. King, Jr. Drive)
215.917–
216.622
347.485–
348.619
215 LA 1 (North Market Street)
221.488–
222.166
356.450–
357.542
221 LA 173 – Dixie, Blanchard
223.430–
224.162
359.576–
360.754
223 LA 169 – Mooringsport
228.213–
229.146
367.273–
368.775
228 LA 530 – Belcher, Oil City
231.503–
232.216
372.568–
373.715
231 LA 170 – Gilliam, Vivian
234.262–
235.010
377.008–
378.212
234 US 71 – Hosston, Gilliam
237.289–
238.249
381.880–
383.425
237 LA 2 – Hosston, Plain Dealing
241.473–
242.007
388.613–
389.473
241 PR 16 – Mira
Ida245.145–
246.034
394.523–
395.953
245 LA 168 – Ida, Rodessa
247.219397.860
I-49 north – Texarkana
Continuation in Arkansas
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Notes

  1. ^ For the federal government's purposes, the FHWA lists Louisiana's completed portions of I-49 as totaling 239.25 miles (385.04 km) in length.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Highway Inventory Unit (2016). "LRS Conversion Tool". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  3. ^ "Missouri Getting New Interstate, at Least in name". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Associated Press. September 4, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Google (June 13, 2017). "Overview Map of I-49 in Louisiana (Southern Section)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  5. ^ Google (June 13, 2017). "Overview Map of I-49 in Louisiana (Northern Section)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Federal Highway Administration. "Previous Facts of the Day". 50th Anniversary Interstate Highway System. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  7. ^ Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved December 19, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  8. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "I-49 North". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Archived from the original on November 19, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  9. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Projects". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Heyen, Curtis (May 30, 2017). "Louisiana to Open Part of New Stretch of I-49 on Wednesday". Shreveport: KSLA. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  12. ^ KSLA Staff. "LaDOTD opens new ramps along I-49, I-220 in Caddo". Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  13. ^ Crawford, Sarah (October 17, 2018). "New Shreveport I-49, I-220 Interchange Officially Opens". Shreveport Times. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  14. ^ Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. "Interstate 49 Geaux South". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ "Five Things to Know about the I-49 South Connector". The Daily Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. October 5, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2015.
  17. ^ Marcantel, Stephen (1 March 2023). "How a civil rights investigation could alter the I-49 Connector". The Current. Retrieved 5 May 2023.
  18. ^ "Editorial: The 'racist' road is needed for Interstate 49". NOLA.com. 17 February 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  19. ^ "Letters: I-49 extension would bring destruction, not prosperity". NOLA.com. 6 March 2023. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  20. ^ Lebouef, Neil. "I-49 Connector". Lafayette Metropolitan Planning Organization. Archived from the original on September 4, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  21. ^ "New Construction on I-49 South to Begin Soon". The Advertiser. Lafayette, LA. April 16, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  22. ^ "DOTD celebrates completion of LA 318 Interchange". KLFY-TV. May 6, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  23. ^ "US 90 (I-49 South) Albertson's Pkwy to Ambassador Caffery". Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
  24. ^ "I-49 S. Ambassador Caffery/US 90 Interchange near Broussard in Lafayette Parish | Build America". United States Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 26, 2023.Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  25. ^ "DOTD announces start of $136M Ambassador Caffery/US 90 project". KATC News. August 22, 2022.
  26. ^ "Gov. Edwards, DOTD kick-off construction for Ambassador Caffery Interchange project in Broussard" (Press release). Office of the Governor. November 14, 2022. Retrieved February 26, 2023.
  27. ^ Warner, Doug (February 25, 2015). "Filling the Gap: Will I-49 go through Shreveport, or around?". KSLA News 12. Shreveport. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ "I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport". I-49 Inner-City Connector–Shreveport. 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  30. ^ Talamo, Lex (March 5, 2016). "Allendale community stages march, rally to raise awareness about I-49". The Times. Shreveport, Louisiana. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  31. ^ Heyen, Curtis (January 24, 2023). "New I-49 inner-city connector study corridor would avoid historic Allendale neighborhood". KSLA. Shreveport, Louisiana. Retrieved March 25, 2023.
  32. ^ "La. transportation secretary gives update on I-49 inner city connector". KTBS. 12 May 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  33. ^ Abbott, Chloe (31 May 2023). "I-49 connector project subject of debate before MPC". KTBS. Retrieved 3 June 2023.

External links


Interstate 49
Previous state:
Terminus
Louisiana Next state:
Arkansas