29 May 2008

Louisiana State Highways: LA 1 to LA 25

LA 1

Length: 436.20 miles

Southern terminus: Dead end at south bank of Bayou Rigaud, Grand Isle

Northern terminus: TX border north of RodessaContinues as TX 77

Parishes: Jef, Lafo, Asu, Asc, Ibv, WBR, PC, Av, Rap, Nat, RR, Cad

Multilane sections: From White Castle to west of Erwinville; through Marksville; through Alexandria; through Shreveport

Multiplexes: LA 182, Raceland; LA 69, White Castle; US 190, north of Port Allen to west of Erwinville; LA 10, New Roads to Morganza; LA 107, Marksville; LA 28, Alexandria; Business US 165, Alexandria; Business US 167, Alexandria; LA 8, Boyce; LA 493, Montrose; US 84, Armistead to Grand Bayou; US 371, Armistead to Gahagan; US 71, Shreveport; LA 170, Vivian; LA 168, Rodessa


The Main Street of Louisiana. ‘Nuff said.

In all seriousness, LA 1 is unique among all Louisiana state highways. It traverses every geographical region of the state, from the coastal marshes to the Mississippi River valley to the piney upland hills. It is the longest route of any kind in the state, far and away besting the second longest, US 90, by about 140 miles. It functions as a major traffic corridor wherever it is located (or used to, until IH 49 replaced it, between Alexandria and Shreveport). And it passes very near the state capital; in fact, the high-rise Capitol building can be easily seen from the sugar cane fields of West Baton Rouge Parish near Port Allen.

And along the way, LA 1 is the Main Street of many Louisiana cities and towns: Thibodaux, Donaldsonville, Port Allen, New Roads, Marksville, Alexandria, Boyce, Natchez, Powhatan, Shreveport, Vivian, and others. The street may not be called “Main Street” but is in spirit.

Actually, it is somewhat unique among the states to have such a long and important SR 1. Of the 25 states that have an actual SR 1 (not including those for which ‘SR 1’ is US 1; secondary route 1’s, such as in TX; or solely an implied route, such as in WA):

· 9 of those SR 1’s are short and/or minor routes in their state systems (ID, MT, CO, NM, NE, KS, MO, KY, MI);

· 4 stretch from border to border and are important, but are ‘secret’ designations for US routes (AL, GA, TN) or go under a different name (FL’s A1A);

· 4 are medium length (not cross state) and vary in importance (AR, IA, MS, OK)

That leaves eight SR 1’s, all lengthy, cross state routes: AK, CA, ND, LA, IL, IN, MN, and DE. Of these routes, IMO, only the SR 1’s of AK, CA, LA, IL, and DE are the kinds of roads that, if followed from end to end, give the driver a broad cross-spectrum of the variety of their states. And in Alaska, drivers never refer to the highway as AK 1, but by the name of whatever named highway it is following (Glenn Highway, etc.). So Louisiana is somewhat unique in having a lengthy SR 1, another unique achievement in an already unique state.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

The original LA 1 was one of the original state highways created in 1921, as a single numerical designation for the Jefferson Highway, the most important north-south auto trail in La. in the pre-numbered highway era. The Jefferson Highway in La. connected New Orleans with Baton Rouge, Alexandria, and Shreveport. Though the route of the Jefferson Highway is similar in some ways (general orientation, for example) to today’s LA 1, it was a totally different route. This is old LA 1, in present terms, from north to south:

· Road no longer existing, Ft. St. Phillip on the eastbank of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish to Pointe-a-la-Hache

· LA 39 to Braithwaite

· LA 3137 in Braithwaite area

· LA 39 to Poydras

· LA 46 to New Orleans

· In New Orleans: St. Claude Ave. (LA 46), Poland Ave., Claiborne Avenue (LA 39, US 90)

· US 90, then LA 48 to Norco

· Local road through Norco and across present Bonnet CarrĂ© Spillway gates to Montz

· LA 628 to Laplace

· LA 44 to Burnside

· LA 942 to Darrow

· LA 75 to Geismar

· LA 73 to Baton Rouge

· In BR: Claycut Road, Acadian Thruway, Gov’t Street, 19th Street (?), North Street

· Port Allen-Baton Rouge ferry (now defunct)

· LA 76 to Rosedale

· LA 77 to near Melville

· LA 10 to Lebeau

· US 71 to Bunkie

· LA 1177 north of Bunkie

· US 71 to south of Lecompte

· LA 456 and 470 parallel to US 71/167 in Lecompte area

· West Street, local road south of Alexandria

· In Alexandria: Macarthur Blvd., Lee St., Bolton Ave. (part of present LA 1), Murray St.

· Defunct Red River bridge between Alexandria and Pineville

· In Pineville: Main St. (Business US 165), LA 180

· US 71 to Tioga

· LA 3225 to Timber Trails

· US 71 to Colfax

· In Colfax area: LA 492, LA 8, LA 158

· US 71 to south of Clarence

· LA 1225 to Clarence

· LA 6 to Natchitoches

· In Natchitoches: Business LA 6

· LA 6 to Robeline

· LA 120 to JCT LA 175

· LA 175 to Mansfield

· US 84 in Mansfield

· US 171 to Shreveport

· In Shreveport: Mansfield Road, Greenwood Road

· US 79/80 to Greenwood

· US 80 to TX border

Local names of “Jefferson Highway” still exist on LA 48 and US 90 in Jefferson Parish outside Kenner; LA 44 from Lutcher to Reserve; LA 73 in East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parishes; and LA 180 in Pineville.

There is a granite obelisk in downtown New Orleans, at the corner of St. Charles and Common, denoting the ‘official’ southern terminus of the Jefferson Highway. The northern end is in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

LA 1 was cosigned with practically all of La.’s US highways along different parts of its routing through the state at various times from 1926 to 1955: US 51, 61, 65, 71, 79, 80, 84, 90, 165, 167, 171, and 190.

Business LA 1 - Natchitoches

Length: 4.74 miles

Southern terminus: LA 1 south of Natchitoches

Northern terminus: LA 1 northwest of Natchitoches

Parishes: Nat

Multilane sections: ?

Multiplexes: Business LA 6, in Natchitoches

This is the old routing of LA 1 through Natchitoches, before the completion of the LA 1 Natchitoches Bypass.

LA 2

Length: 179.99 miles

Western terminus: TX border @ Trees – Continues as TX 49

Eastern terminus: JCT US 65 north of Lake Providence

Parishes: Cad, Bo, Web, Cl, Un, Ou, Mor, WC, EC

Multilane sections: With US 165, Sterlington to Bastrop

Multiplexes: LA 1, Vivian; LA 170, Vivian; US 71, Hosston; US 371, Sarepta; LA 159, Shongaloo; US 63/167, Bernice; LA 15/33, Farmerville; US 165, Sterlington to Mer Rouge


LA 2 is the northernmost cross-state highway in La. It winds through the northern tier of parishes, connecting several parish seats and other towns and villages, but otherwise it does not exceed regional importance when on its own.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

The original LA 2 was an original state highway created in 1921, and replicated the routing of the Old Spanish Trail in La. For exact routing, see US 90 History. LA 2’s history is tightly bound to that of pre-1955 US 90 after 1926, as the two routes were entirely cosigned their whole lengths in La., upon US 90’s commissioning as a common designation for the Old Spanish Trail throughout the South. The only non-cosigned portion existing between 1926-1955 was caused by the diversion of US 90 onto the Huey Long Bridge, leaving the old Westbank/Jackson Ave. routing as LA 2 only. (Again, see US 90 History for details of that routing.)

LA 2 Alternate

Length: 42.11 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 2/159 Shongaloo

Eastern terminus: JCT US 63/167 Bernice

Parishes: Web, Cl, Un

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: US 79, Haynesville; LA 9, Summerfield

The only “ALTERNATE” route in La. Why it wasn’t given a regular number is beyond me. Probably the designation is a crumb thrown Haynesville, which this route serves, in order to compensate for Homer getting mainline LA 2. Does not reconnect to LA 2 on its east end, though it does come close.

LA 2 Spur – Sarepta

Length: 0.12 miles

Western terminus: JCT US 371

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 2

Parishes: Web

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: None

Provides an easy connection from EB LA 2 to NB US 371 and vice versa, due to a jog in LA 2’s route in Sarepta

LA 3

Length: 35.63 miles

Southern terminus: JCT IH 20 Bossier City

Northern terminus: AR border N of Plain Dealing – Continues as AR 29

Parishes: Bo

Multilane sections: From Bossier City to Benton

Multiplexes: None known


Even though LA 3 has a single-digit designation, it is not a long major cross state highway, though the designation fits well with the rough ‘grid’ pattern in which the lowest SRs are arranged in La. Mostly serves to connect Bossier City with northern points.

Why Benton, not Bossier City, is the Bossier Parish seat, I have no idea.

Fanciful extension: if US 71 ever replaced US 171, this route could replace 71 as far south as Alexandria, and possibly farther.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

This route historically existed in two parts. The south leg duplicated the route of US 61 (later 61/65) from Baton Rouge north to MS (the “Scenic Highway”). The northern leg duplicated US 65 from Vidalia to the AR border. See the US 61 and US 65 listings for a list of older alignments.

LA 3 Spur – Bossier City

Length: 0.31 miles

Southern terminus: LA 72/Barksdale Blvd.

Northern terminus: LA 3/Benton Rd.

Parishes: Bo

Multilane sections: Entirely?

Multiplexes: None

A connector in Bossier City between LA 72 and LA 3. Was part of LA 3 before Benton Spur Road was built to connect 3 to nearby I-20.

LA 4

Length: 165.24 miles

Western terminus: JCT US 71 @ Loggy Bayou

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 605 Newellton

Parishes: Bo/RR (sits on border), Bi, Jac, Cald, Fr, Ten

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: LA 154, Ringgold; LA 507, Castor; LA 155, Friendship; US 167, Jonesboro; US 165, Columbia; LA 15, Winnsboro; LA 128 for ~9 mi. in Franklin and Tensas Parishes


A long, cross state route, not necessarily distinguished, LA 4 simply serves to link several small towns and parish seats along its lazy routing through northern La. hill country. There is a relatively lengthy (for La.) multiplex with LA 128 near its eastern end. Taking LA 128 instead of LA 4 through Franklin Parish shaves off quite a bit of driving distance.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

This route duplicated the Dixie Overland Highway, later US 80, from Shreveport to MS. See the US 80 listing for details.

LA 5

Length: 29.66 miles

Southern terminus: JCT US 84 Logansport

Northern (or is it eastern?) terminus: Crossing of Kansas City Southern railroad line E of Kingston

Parishes: De

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: None known


This route is an odd one among single-digit SRs in La. For one, it is ‘out of place’ in the rough ‘grid’ system of lower-numbered Louisiana SRs. For another thing, the northern or eastern terminus, whatever you prefer, is in a terribly odd location. One might think that it could extend at least to nearby IH 49, which is about half a mile further on the parish road that extends beyond the railroad crossing where LA 5 ‘dead-ends.’ However, there is no interchange there (though there is one nearby at LA 175). Why this route doesn’t just end at LA 175, I have no idea.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

The original LA 5 was much longer, and a true cross-state route. The routing roughly followed today’s US 167 corridor. From a southern terminus in Lafayette at US 90/old LA 2, it ran along present LA 182 (former alignment of US 167 as far as Nuba, north of Opelousas) up to 182’s north end in northwestern St. Landry Parish, then continued north on present LA 29 to Bunkie. From there it followed present LA 115 north to Marksville, then curved south and then northwest along the present LA 1 to Alexandria. From Alex it followed US 71/old LA 1 (older alignments include Bus US 165, LA 180, LA 3225) north to the settlement of Aloha, then turned north along present LA 471 to Atlanta, then north on LA 34 to Winnfield, then north on US 167 to Arkansas.

US 167 originally utilized old LA 5 to a terminus at US 71 in Aloha in the original 1926 setup. Later it was moved to the more direct Alexandria-Winnfield alignment, thus decommissioning that route as a US highway. The portions of LA 5 that were also US 167 between Nuba and Lafayette did not receive that designation until 1949, when 167 was extended south from Alexandria.

LA 6

Length: 54.45 miles

Western terminus: TX border @ Toledo Bend Reservoir – Continues as TX 21

Eastern terminus: JCT US 71/84 Clarence

Parishes: Sa, Nat

Multilane sections: Around Natchitoches?

Multiplexes: US 171, Many; LA 120, Robeline; LA 1, Natchitoches (on bypass)


Though not cross-state, LA 6 is still worthy of its designation, as it, more than US 84, serves as the main route into Texas from central Louisiana, and also serves the moderately important center of Natchitoches. This route should probably be US 84 IMO. LA 6 is one of the oldest roads in La., as it follows the historic Camino Real and Nolan’s Trace, a historic cattle trail that stretched west from Natchez, MS into Texas. It also passes through (actually around) Natchitoches, the oldest town in La. as well as in the Louisiana Purchase, from which all or part of 15 states (including La.) were created.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

LA 6 is one of only 3 or 4 routes (that I know of) for which the pre-1955 routing duplicated, for the most part, the present routing. The only difference was that the designation actually extended much further east, as a true cross-state route, generally following the US 84 corridor. From Robeline to Clarence, there was a multiplex with original LA 1 (Jefferson Highway); thence a multiplex (after 1932 or whereabouts) with US 84 east to the present junction with LA 124 east of Winnfield; thence east on present LA 124 to Olla; thence north briefly on present LA 125/former US 165 into central Olla; thence southeast from Olla on LA 127 to US 84 in Jena; thence east on US 84 to a junction with US 65/old LA 3 at Ferriday. I’m guessing that LA 3, instead of LA 6, continued to the state line since LA 3 existed in two legs, with an ‘implied’ connection along US 65 and US 61 in MS. (See the LA 3 Pre-1955 History for details.)

In those days, Toledo Bend Reservoir did not exist; merely crossing the Sabine River placed you in another state.

Business LA 6 – Natchitoches

Length: 3.51 miles

Southern terminus: JCT LA 1 & 6 on the bypass west of Natchitoches

Northern terminus: LA 6 north of Natchitoches

Parishes: Nat

Multilane sections: ?

Multiplexes: Business LA 1, in Natchitoches

This is the old LA 6 route through Natchitoches. Shares pavement with another of the rare SR business routes in La. – Business LA 1.

LA 7

This is the former SR designation of US 371 from Edgefield north to Arkansas. All of LA 7 was killed around 1994, when 371 was commissioned in La.

When it still existed, the designation fit suitably well into the lower-digit SR numbering ‘grid.’

LA 8

Length: 156.09 miles

Western terminus: TX border @ Burr Ferry – Continues as TX 63

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 15, Sicily Island

Parishes: Vern, Rap, Gr, Las, Cat

Multilane sections: With US 171 in Leesville

Multiplexes: LA 111, Burr Ferry; US 171, Leesville; LA 465, Simpson; LA 1, Zimmerman to Boyce; US 71 E of Colfax; US 165, Pollock; US 84, Jena to Whitehall; LA 126, Manifest; LA 124, Harrisonburg


Though it is a single-digit route and seemingly important, LA 8 apparently, for the most part, abdicates the role of major cross-state highway to its cousin, LA 28. Instead, it takes a convoluted route through central La., somewhat important as it connects several parish seats, but mainly charting a winding course that shuns going directly from point A to point B, and occasionally hitching rides on other routes, as if it has all the time in the world. This route is probably pleasant if you are in the mood for a leisurely long-distance drive, or if you have extra time to spare.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

Old LA 8 was relatively short; it extended northwest from Shreveport, following the LA 1 and LA 538 routings to an exit at the northwest corner of the state. The LA 3 of its day.

LA 8 Spur – Boyce

Length: 0.18 miles

Southern terminus: JCT IH 49

Northern terminus: JCT LA 1

Parishes: Rap

Multilane sections: none

Multiplexes: none

A former alignment of LA 8 just north of the northern LA 8 interchange with I-49, running north to an intersection with LA 1. Since LA 8 now is multiplexed with I-49 from there to Boyce, this leftover piece became a spur.

LA 9

Length: 100.42 miles

Southern terminus: JCT US 71 Campti

Northern terminus: JCT US 63/167 Junction City

Parishes: Nat, Bi, Cl

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: LA 155, Saline; LA 507, Bienville; US 80, Arcadia; US 79, Homer; Alternate LA 2, Summerfield


A route of mid-level importance, similar to most other low-digit SRs, LA 9 is not necessarily distinguished in any special way, other than it passes through some of La.’s highest terrain (300 to 535 feet – I’m not talking about a lot of elevation here). The northernmost portion continues the trajectory of US 79 between Minden and Homer.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

Similar region, other direction. Old LA 9 began in Coushatta at US 71, then headed east along present LA 155 to Ashland, then southeast along undetermined parish roads to Chestnut, thence east on present LA 479 to Goldonna, thence continuing east on LA 156 to a junction with US 167 north of Winnfield, which it then followed south into that town. It then proceeded east along US 84 to a terminus at old LA 6 in Jena, which assumed the routing of US 84 eastward from there.

LA 10

Length: 250.03 miles

Western terminus: JCT US 171, Pickering

Eastern terminus: MS border at Bogalusa – Continues as MS 26

Parishes: Vern, Al, Ev, St L, PC, WF, EF, St H, Tan, Wa

Multilane sections: With US 167 in Nuba, from IH 49 to LA 749

Multiplexes: LA 399, Cravens; LA 112, Elizabeth; US 167, Ville Platte to Nuba; LA 182, Nuba to Beggs; LA 1, Morganza to New Roads; LA 3057, St. Francisville; LA 67, Clinton; US 51, Fluker to Arcola; LA 16 & 25, Franklinton

Ferries: Atchafalaya River @ Melville, Mississippi River @ St. Francisville


Possibly the only route in La. which has two ferry crossings as part of its routing, LA 10 runs the length of the mid-southern tier of the state, and showcases the physical variation of the state, passing from prairie to empty swampland to the fertile Mississippi River valley to piney Florida Parishes hill country. It serves Fort Polk Military Reservation, Cajun country, poverty-stricken towns barely hanging on (Morganza), many other thriving towns with quaint main streets and historical attractions (New Roads, St. Francisville, Washington, etc.).

For the most part, LA 10 avoids large population centers, thus rendering this a quieter, more bucolic drive than other lengthy La. routes. Some portions of this highway are major rural highways; other portions are quiet and devoid of activity. Some parts are even unsealed, such as the segment from LA 77 west to Melville! One of those quiet sections, from US 71 at Lebeau to JCT LA 77 east of Melville, is part of the historic Jefferson Highway and once carried US 71 and historic LA 1. The main UP rail line parallels this section, thus underscoring its former significance.

Substantial multiplexes exist with US 167 and LA 1. These sections tend to be far busier than the rest of the highway. The St. Francisville-New Roads ferry is also heavily patronized, since it is the only river crossing for some distance. This ferry is currently in the process of being replaced with a high level Mississippi River bridge (the John James Audubon Bridge), and the project is part of the TIMED program, with construction underway as of this writing.

Pre-1955 Routing and History:

Old LA 10 existed along US 71 (and its older alignments) from Clarence to Bossier City, and was present LA 3 north from there to Arkansas.

LA 10 Spur – Greensburg

Length: 1.42 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 43

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 10

Parishes: St H

Multilane sections: none

Multiplexes: none

Parallels LA 10 to the east of Greensburg. A former alignment of LA 10 proper. I have no clue why this should be labeled a spur. Get rid of it, DOTD.

LA 11: There is no LA 11, notwithstanding whatever the DeLorme Atlas shows in lower Plaquemines Parish. US 11 is implied SR 11.

LA 12

Length: 34.58 miles

Western terminus: TX border @ Deweyville – Continues as TX 12

Eastern terminus: JCT US 171/190, Ragley

Parishes: Calc, Be, Calc, Be

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: None


This route continues the westward trajectory of US 190 toward Texas; 190 itself turns north along US 171 and loops through De Ridder before finally turning west toward Texas. The only place of consequence along the route is De Quincy.

Going westbound, LA 12 skips out of Calcasieu Parish, back into the parish, and out of the parish again. This is due to the fact that Calcasieu Parish has an odd northern extension that takes in the town of De Quincy.

There was a grade-separated folded diamond interchange of antiquated design at the eastern terminus of LA 12 favoring US 171, which also served as the southern US 171-190 junction. In recent years it has been reconfigured into a connector road between US 190 and 171, extending LA 12 slightly to the east.

LA 13

Length: 64.04 miles

Southern terminus: JCT LA 14 W of Kaplan

Northern terminus: JCT US 167, Turkey Creek

Parishes: Verm, Ac, St L, Ev

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: US 90, Crowley; LA 376, Reddell; LA 106, Pine Prairie


Cutting a north-south swath through Cajun country, LA 13 is a major route serving Acadia and Evangeline Parishes. It passes through Crowley, home to a seemingly endless cavalcade of Cajun politicians. The town produced one of the state’s most legendary and (in)famous politicians: former 4-term Governor Edwin Washington Edwards, also known as “EWE” or “Prisoner #5421, Oakdale Federal Penitentary” (couldn’t resist). It is also the birthplace of two other well-known politicians: former Senator John Breaux and former 7th Congressional District Representative Chris John.

For all you railfans: From Crowley north to Eunice, the Acadian Railway, a short line, parallels the road to the west.

LA 14

Length: 100.44 miles

Western terminus: JCT 90/171, Lake Charles

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 182, New Iberia

Parishes: Calc, JD, Cam, Verm, Iba

Multilane sections: Delcambre to New Iberia

Multiplexes: LA 91, Gueydan


The southernmost major multi-parish SR in La., LA 14 serves the heart of Cajun country, terminating at major Cajun metropolises – Lake Charles and New Iberia – and passing through many towns in between. The section from Abbeville eastward is a well-traveled major 4-lane highway and intersects the US 90 expressway at a diamond interchange.

Business LA 14 – Abbeville

Length: 3.45 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 14 west of Abbeville

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 14 east of Abbeville

Parishes: Verm

Multilane sections: Eastern Abbeville

Multiplexes: none

Formerly mainline LA 14 through Abbeville. Interesting simply because of its mere existence – there are few SR business routes in La. – but even more interesting due to the fact that it serves as the terminus for a federal highway (US 167), the only place in La. where a US route terminates at a SR alone. It did not become a business route right away, though; the present route of mainline LA 14 around Abbeville was first marked as BYPASS LA 14.

LA 15

Length: 264.56 miles

Southern terminus: JCT LA 1, at a godforsaken spot near Lettsworth

Northern terminus: JCT US 167, Lillie

Parishes: PC, Con, Cat, Fr, Ri, Ou, Un

Multilane sections: With US 65, Ferriday to Clayton; Wisner to JCT LA 137 Archibald (All of LA 15 between Clayton and Archibald is scheduled to become divided highway in future)

Multiplexes: LA 970, S terminus to ~2 mi N of S terminus (?); US 84, Ferriday; US 65, Ferriday to Clayton; LA 562, Wisner; LA 128, Gilbert; LA 4, Winnsboro; LA 132, Mangham; LA 135, Alto; Business US 165, Monroe; US 80, Monroe to Claiborne; LA 33, Farmerville; LA 2, Farmerville


One of northeast La.’s longest and most important SRs, LA 15 comprises a portion of a direct routing between Baton Rouge, Natchez, and Monroe (the part of 15 that has all the divided sections) and therefore is receiving or has received major upgrades in Franklin, Richland, and Catahoula Parishes per the TIMED program. In any case, it is a major non-interstate corridor through the poor and mostly depopulated northeastern part of the state. South of Ferriday, it passes through a lot of empty space, mostly protected land for wildlife, and about as uninhabited as central Nevada. The drive is punctuated only by the massive Old River control structure, which keeps the Mississippi River in its channel and the economies of New Orleans and Baton Rouge from evaporating. North of Monroe, it is a semi-important but non-exciting rural road.

LA 16

Length: 110.72 miles

‘Western’ terminus: JCT LA 22, French Settlement

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 21, Sun

Parishes: Liv, St H, Tan, Wa, St T

Multilane sections: Through Denham Springs

Multiplexes: LA 42, French Settlement/Port Vincent; US 190, Denham Springs; LA 63, Weiss to Grangeville, LA 43, Montpelier; LA 10 & 25, Franklinton


LA 16 is a lengthy SR with an odd-shaped routing, exclusively limited to the Florida Parishes. The routing can best be described as crescent-shaped, with the ‘crescent’ tendencies most pronounced on the west end (therefore explaining why I put the word ‘western’ above in quotation marks). From a terminus near French Settlement, LA 16 bends northwest through swampy lowland, then north through suburban, fast-growing Denham Springs, and finally northeast and east through the piney wastes of St. Helena and Washington Parishes, encountering such lovely Bible Belt towns as Amite and “Jesus is Lord Over” Franklinton along the way.

LA 17

Length: 67.07 miles

Southern terminus: JCT LA 15, Winnsboro

Northern terminus: AR border @ Kilbourne – Continues as AR 159

Parishes: Fr, Ri, WC

Multilane sections: None known

Multiplexes: LA 4, Winnsboro; LA 588, Pioneer; LA 2, Oak Grove


With LA 17, the rough ‘grid’ system of cross-state SRs comes to a close, though routes in the 18-24 range can be construed as having a ‘microgrid’ arrangement of their own. Anyway, LA 17 is an important regional through route, serving medium-distance traffic in the high-poverty rural parishes of Franklin, Richland, and West Carroll.

LA 18

Length: 79.46 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 1, Donaldsonville

Eastern terminus: JCT US 90 BUS/LA 23, Gretna

Parishes: Asc, St J, St JB, St C, Jef

Multilane sections: None

Multiplexes: LA 20, Vacherie (does this still exist?); US 90, Bridge City; LA 541, Westwego


LA 18 serves as the river road on the Mississippi River’s Westbank for nearly its entire length. This makes the route historical and interesting, but also makes it a pain to drive, as it is entirely two lanes, curvy (in imitation of the river’s bends and turns), often narrow, and thus quite dangerous and accident-prone. Therefore, it is not an important through route anywhere; but it remains important, as the river road serves (as it has always done) as the transportation lifeline of the river communities, as well as a mover of freight associated with the many refineries in the N.O.-B.R. petrochemical corridor. On the brighter side, LA 18 provides access to many beautiful and historic antebellum plantation homes that line the river, many which are open to the public and definitely worth a day trip.

The sections of LA 18 from JCT LA 52 at Luling to Bridge City, and Westwego to Huey P. Long Avenue in Gretna, served as original sections of US 90 at varying periods between 1926 and the 1940’s. See the US 90 history for details.

LA 18 Spur – Westwego

Length: 0.66 miles

Southern terminus: JCT US 90 BUS/Westbank Expressway

Northern terminus: JCT LA 18/4th Street

Parishes: Jef

Multilane sections: none

Multiplexes: none

The southern half of Louisiana Street in the City of Westwego is Spur LA 18, and is signed as such.

LA 19

Length: 34.02 miles

Southern terminus: JCT US 61, Baton Rouge (Scotlandville)

Northern terminus: MS border @ Norwood – Continues as MS 33

Parishes: EBR, EF

Multilane sections: None

Multiplexes: None known


LA 19 is a medium-length route of importance in the western Florida parishes. Sprouting north from the Scotlandville neighborhood of Baton Rouge near Southern University, it serves as the main route from there to the growing suburban cities of Baker and “Good Schools from the $140s” Zachary. Farther north, it passes roughly equidistant between the towns of Clinton and Jackson, two quaint antebellum towns of historic significance.

LA 20

Length: 39.47 miles

Western terminus: JCT US 90, Gibson

‘Eastern’ (actually northern) terminus: JCT LA 18, Vacherie

Parishes: Ter, Lafo, St J

Multilane sections: From Schriever north to Thibodaux

Multiplexes: LA 1, Thibodaux; formerly with LA 18, Vacherie and LA 44, Gramercy


LA 20 is a route of some consequence; it is the main north-south route through Thibodaux and is the shortest connection between the Houma-Thibodaux area and the interstate (though not necessarily the quickest or the best, and definitely not the most well-constructed). Yes, even though an even-numbered route, most of it is oriented north-south. Only the westernmost leg is east-west in orientation, and that portion has grown less important with the completion of the US 90 freeway which runs parallel for a good part of its length.

Originally LA 20 crossed the river at Gramercy via ferry and extended up to US 61 along the present LA 3274; that part was renumbered a couple years after the ferry service was discontinued with the completion of the Veterans Memorial Bridge in 1995. So for a few years LA 20 had a break in its route. Technically it still has a break; the route log places its northern terminus at LA 44 in Gramercy, opposite the old eastbank ferry landing. However, it is no longer signed north of its junction with LA 18 in Vacherie, so I list that as its “natural” terminus.

Suggestion: It would lend greatly to route continuity if 20 were extended again onto the eastbank, using the bridge this time around, to provide a direct interstate connection. Multiplex it with 18 to the foot of the bridge, then replace LA 3213 and LA 641 up to the exit at I-10.

LA 21

Length: 51.76 miles

Southern terminus: JCT LA 22, Madisonville

Northern terminus: MS border @ Angie – Continues as MS 35

Parishes: St T, Wa

Multilane sections: Bush to Bogalusa

Multiplexes: LA 1077, Madisonville; Bus US 190, Covington; LA 40 near Bush


LA 21 is a major route serving parts of fast growing St. Tammany Parish, primarily the Covington area, and the moderate-sized city of Bogalusa in Washington Parish. It begins its journey in the quaint and charming town of Madisonville. In Covington, a center-turn lane has been recently added from I-12 north to the city center. Northeast of Covington the Military Highway (as it is locally known) is shaping up as a future growth corridor, and doubtless will need widening in the future.

The section from Bush to Bogalusa is a nice divided four-lane highway, and is planned to eventually be part of a 4-lane corridor that would provide Bogalusa with a decent 4-lane highway link to I-12. The planned southern extension of this four-lane highway, known as LA 3241, is a TIMED project, and is billed by the politicos as crucial to Bogalusa’s economy, or at least what passes for one.

North of Bogalusa to the Mississippi line, the route becomes less important and there is little of interest save the villages of Varnado and Angie.

LA 22

Length: 71.85 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 75 & LA 942, Darrow

Eastern terminus: JCT US 190 freeway (diamond interchange), Mandeville

Parishes: Asc, Liv, Tan, St T

Multilane sections: Through Pontchatoula (5-lane undivided); west of JCT US 190 in Mandeville

Multiplexes: LA 1037, Springfield; Bus US 51, Pontchatoula; LA 445 near Lees Landing


LA 22 is another route in this numeric range primarily serving the Florida Parishes. Its route takes it in a sweeping curve from exurban Sorrento to exurban Mandeville. (Same phenomenon, different metros.) Most of the road is two-lane and rural in between, though there is a center turn lane between Mandeville and the Fairview Riverside State Park area due to the burgeoning growth of subdivisions along the corridor. In Pontchatoula LA 22 is Pine Street, and is home to many antique stores.

Historically LA 22’s route was longer on the west end and shorter on the east end. The west terminus was at one time at LA 1 in Donaldsonville; at the time there was a ferry that took travelers to Darrow, immediately across the river and site of the present western terminus. (That explains the seemingly inexplicable location of the present western end.) With the completion of the Sunshine Bridge in the late 1960’s, the ferry was discontinued and 22 was cut back to the eastbank.

On the east end: In the 1955 renumbering, US 190 was defined as taking the route of present Business US 51 (then mainline US 51) south from Hammond to Pontchatoula, then east on present 22 to Mandeville, where it resumed its present course. So in that period 22’s east end was defined to be in Pontchatoula. When 190 was rerouted back to its present alignment (which had been its previous alignment before the early 50’s), replacing a western portion of LA 36, LA 22 was finally extended to Mandeville. I think this probably occurred after the opening of the first Lake Pontchartrain Causeway bridge in 1956; the previously planned routing to Mandeville from New Orleans had involved a proposed lakeshore routing, and the road between Pontchatoula and Madisonville has only been completed a few years before 1955. Perhaps the DOH’s rationale at the time was to have an all-US highway route between New Orleans and the Mandeville summer resorts. LA 22 was cut back again slightly with a realignment of US 190 around 1980 (?), leading to the present eastern terminus’ configuration, and spawning LA 3228 in the process.

LA 23

Length: 74.02 miles

Southern terminus: Local road, Venice

Northern terminus: JCT LA 428, Gretna

Parishes: Pl, Jef

Multilane sections: Entire length

Multiplexes: Runs along Bus US 90 (Westbank Expwy.) service roads in Gretna for a short distance, if that counts J


LA 23 is the Main Street of Plaquemines Parish. Over 90% of Plaquemines’ population lives on its Westbank in a narrow strip along the river, so LA 23, which is the sole highway serving that area, is well primed to live up to that name. There has been a long-standing project to dualize the highway; twinning is now completed for the entirety of the route from Gretna to Venice, save for one last annoying two-lane section through Port Sulphur.

The northern end, mostly within Jefferson Parish, is experiencing growing pains as Belle Chasse continues to find favor among New Orleanians as an exurban retreat. Without access control, plagued by traffic lights, and running directly parallel to a rail line (with many driveways to businesses crossing that rail line), Belle Chasse Highway is a perennial traffic headache for commuters. The Intracoastal Canal crossing is unique: an older, 1940s era bascule bridge, the original crossing, serves northbound traffic; while southbound traffic passes under the canal via the Belle Chasse Tunnel, a decrepit 1950s era tube similar to the Harvey Tunnel in age and construction, and one of only three tunnels open to traffic in La. (the Harvey Tunnel and a tunnel on LA 3040 in Houma are the others; a fourth tunnel lies under the west runway of the Louis Armstrong N.O. Int’l Airport along the Jefferson-St. Charles parish line, but sits unused). This crossing is supposed to be replaced eventually….if DOTD ever finds the money. Well, at least drivers have an alternative route via Woodland Highway and DeGaulle Blvd. through Algiers.

The northernmost portion of 23 runs along Franklin Street in Gretna, through a neighborhood that looks like it belongs more in Central City New Orleans than Jefferson Parish.

If my conscience ever evaporates, I propose to build a freeway, the Promised Land Expressway (designation of LA 3299), which would ‘alleviate’ traffic problems in the Belle Chasse area. It would run from the Westbank Expressway at DeGaulle, down the wide DeGaulle median, across the canal where DeGaulle crosses it (another bridge might be needed) then generally south toward Belle Chasse. It would cross the Mississippi at a new high level bridge, replacing the Belle Chasse ferry, and end at a complex interchange with LA 39. This would be done to stimulate the growth of eastbank Plaquemines Parish, especially the Braithwaite area (end outrageous attempt at humor).

LA 24

Length: 35.61 miles

Western terminus: JCT LA 20, Schriever

Eastern terminus: JCT LA 1, Larose

Parishes: Ter, Lafo

Multilane sections: Western terminus to JCT LA 56 (?)

Multiplexes: None known


Though decidedly north-south in the Gray-Bayou Cane area, LA 24 is in the main east-west. It serves as the principal link from the US 90/Future I-49 freeway to Houma, part of the main route from Houma to Thibodaux, and Houma’s principal thoroughfare. LA 24 is also an important link from westbound US 90 to LA 1 and by extension the high-freight demand Port Fourchon oil port complex near the mouth of Bayou Lafourche.

For nearly all of its divided portion, including the section through Houma, LA 24 is situated upon both banks of Bayou Terrebonne; the bayou sits in the ‘median’ of the


LA 25

Length: 39 miles

Southern terminus: JCT US 190, Covington

Northern terminus: MS border @ Warnerton – Continues as MS 27

Parishes: St T, Wa

Multilane sections: None

Multiplexes: LA 40, Folsom; LA 10 & 16, Franklinto


The Unofficial Bible Belt Highway of Louisiana, LA 25 protrudes north from Covington to serve the piney hill country of rural St. Tammany and Washington Parishes. The only specks of civilization along the way are the city of Franklinton and the village of Folsom. Two lanes in its entirety, it is the essence of a rural Southern state highway. This will probably change eventually, though, as the southernmost portion, from Covington to Folsom, will probably become the next exurban growth area soon.

At one time, LA 25 extended farther south, to Mandeville at an end at US 190, at a time when 190 utilized LA 22’s route between Hammond/Pontchatoula and western St. Tammany Parish (see LA 22 listing for details). US 190 claimed this portion around 1956, and LA 3228 was given to the southernmost piece after a realignment of US 190 in later years. I believe that the present Spur LA 437 and LA 437, south of the intersection with its spur, to LA 21 in the city of Covington was also an older LA 25 alignment that survived somewhat longer.

I have traveled LA 25, and have never seen so many signs with bullet holes in them.