Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway

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Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway

Proposed Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway corridor highlighted in red
Route information
HistoryPlanned 1964–1969
CountryUnited States
Highway system
  • Louisiana State Highway System

The Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway was a controversial, mostly-elevated, never-built freeway that would have cut through the French Quarter (Vieux Carré) of New Orleans, Louisiana. From 1964 to 1969, it was also designated Interstate 310 (I-310).

Route description

Flyer by the Louisiana Council for the Vieux Carré opposing the proposed elevated riverfront expressway in New Orleans, c. mid-1960s.

The freeway would have split from I-10 at exit 237 (Elysian Fields AvenueLouisiana Highway 3021) and run south along Elysian Fields Avenue to the Mississippi River. There, it would turn southwest and run to a point near Lafayette Street, where ramps would connect to the Greater New Orleans Bridge (U.S. Route 90 Business). An extension, never part of the Interstate Highway System, was to continue west to meet the Earhart Expressway (Louisiana Highway 3139).

A small piece of the freeway was built as a six-lane, 690-by-98-foot-long-and-wide (210 m × 30 m) tunnel, under the Rivergate Convention Center, now Harrah's New Orleans Casino. It is now used for valet parking.[1]


The Louisiana Highway Department (predecessor to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development) hired Robert Moses as a consultant in 1946 to examine New Orleans' traffic and propose solutions. His proposals included a 40-by-108-foot-high-and-wide (12 m × 33 m) freeway running 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from I-10 near Elysian Fields Ave, following Elysian Fields at ground level to the riverfront, and continuing south, elevated to the US 90 Bus. bridge approach.[2] It was not added to the Interstate Highway System as an urban route in the 1950s due to a lack of funding, but, by 1961, it was being considered for addition. One proposal to gain the mileage was to shift I-10 to the Riverfront route, but eventually, in 1964, the I-420 bypass of Monroe was removed from the Interstate System and the mileage transferred to the Riverfront Expressway project.[3] It was officially added to the Interstate Highway System on October 13, 1964, as I-310.[3]

After wide local opposition, the freeway was removed from the Interstate System on August 22, 1969.[4] Its mileage was used in part for a new southern bypass of New Orleans—I-410—which was itself never completed.

See also


  1. ^ "New Orleans @ SouthEastRoads". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "Interstate 310". Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard (April 7, 2011). "The Second Battle of New Orleans: Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway (I-310)". Highway History. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  4. ^ Souther, J. Mark. "New Orleans on Parade: Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City." Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013. pp. 66-71.

Further reading

External links