23 June 2008

Bippin' on over to the west side

From the archives!

A recent trip to the old Port Allen Ferry Landing yielded these images.

What a sight:

Downtown with its essence of urbanity lies so close, but yet so far, from the small town bucolicness of Port Allen.

Until 1968 cars crossed the river at this location via ferryboat.   Before 1940 all auto traffic traversed the great river in this manner.

This served as the terminus of US 71 from 1926 to about 1950, with the original west terminus of US 190 at the eastbank landing over yonder.  From 1936-1940 (when the "old bridge" opened) US 190 traffic crossed the river here.

Traffic surmounted the levee on this former roadbed, on the levee face opposite the river.  To the distance runs Court Street, which was once in a distant time part of US 71, US 190, and the former Jefferson Highway - the old pre-interstate highway which leads to points north and west. Today this segment survives in the state payroll as a lowly minor hyphenated route.   

A plaque provides the history of this once critical site of transportation, long bypassed by the interstate highway and newer roads.

Hope you enjoyed today's lesson in highway history!