21 July 2008

Louisiana State Highways: 101 to 125

LA 101

Length: 17.30 miles
Southern terminus: LA 14, Hayes
Northern terminus: LA 383 north of Iowa
Parishes: Calc, JD
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

A relatively short and less consequential north-south route, LA 101 goes nowhere near anyplace of consequence, serving the rice prairie barrens east and south of Iowa. Communities served include Lacassine, Woodlawn, and Hayes.

LA 102

Length: 35.31 miles
Western terminus: US 165, Fenton
Southern terminus: LA 26 north of Lake Arthur
Parishes: JD
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 99, Pine Island; LA 395, Raymond; LA 97, Jennings; US 90, Jennings

LA 102 is yet another one of those state highways that likes to annoy us by completely changing direction. The east-west portion passes through the empty heart of Jefferson Davis Parish and serves a few small communities along section line roads. Crossing LA 26, the road makes a sharp southerly turn and for the remainder of its route parallels that major north-south highway about one mile to its east. The road passes through the city of Jennings in this manner, but does not interchange with I-10.

LA 103

Length: 39.91 miles
Western terminus: US 190, Lawtell
Eastern terminus: LA 31, Leonville
Parishes: St L
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: US 167, SE of Ville Platte; LA 10/182, Washington (WB only); US 190, Port Barre

The longest state highway entirely within one parish, LA 103 is one of those classic La. state highway oddities – completely without direction, rhyme, or reason, more of a collection of discrete roads than one continuous highway. The routing makes a rough arc through the region west, north, and east of Opelousas. Very little of the road rises above local service function, save the section from Washington west to US 167 and the Leonville-Port Barre connection.

LA 104

Length: 41.49 miles
Western terminus: LA 26 east of Oberlin
Eastern terminus: US 190, Opelousas
Parishes: Al, Ev, St L
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 29, Point Blue

LA 104 is a fairly long road which provides a more direct connection, at least on paper, between Opelousas and Oberlin via Mamou. Most of it is curving, thus slow and perhaps not so direct. The segment from Mamou eastward is rated as ‘low priority’ by DOTD.

LA 105

Length: 38.85 miles
Southern terminus: End of state maintenance @ refinery, Krotz Springs
Northern terminus: LA 1, Simmesport
Parishes: St L, Av
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 10, Melville

The legendary Easy Rider road, LA 105 is a favorite with motorcyclists and other counterculturalists everywhere. More prosaically, it serves to connect the Atchafalaya River towns of Krotz Springs, Melville, and Simmesport. Serving as the Atchafalaya river road, it appears deceptively like the Mississippi River road as it parallels the levee, passing through rather desolate (like everything in the Basin) agricultural land and cattle pastures. In Melville and Krotz Springs it crosses ring levees which protect the towns from flooding in case of a spillway opening.

LA 106

Length: 24.38 miles
Western terminus: LA 10 east of Oakdale
Eastern terminus: LA 29, St. Landry
Parishes: Al, Ev, Av
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: US 167, Pine Prairie

LA 106 comprises an east-west route through northern Evangeline Parish, serving the town of Pine Prairie and providing an overall link in the Oakdale-Bunkie corridor.

LA 107

Length: 65.35 miles
Southern terminus: US 71, Morrow
Northern terminus: US 167/LA 28, Pineville
Parishes: St L, Av, Rap
Multilane sections: With LA 1; at north terminus
Multiplexes: LA 361, Big Cane; LA 29, Cottonport; LA 114, Mansura; LA 1, Marksville; LA 115, Marksville to Effie

LA 107 is a lengthy road which gains its length through liberal use of multiplexes, including the co-designation with LA 115 which is one of the longest in the state. Lazily winding through the northern reaches of sugarcane country, it extends through Avoyelles Parish northwest into the Alexandria area. The road makes a good alternate route to Pineville and Tioga from the south.

LA 108

Length: 25.04 miles
Western terminus: I-10, Vinton
Eastern terminus: US 90, Sulphur
Parishes: Calc
Multilane sections: North junction with LA 27 to east terminus
Multiplexes: LA 27, Carlyss

LA 108 can be thought of as two separate roads. The western segment is the longer of the two, commencing at I-10 (not US 90 as might seem natural, likely due to turnback) at the east Vinton interchange and ending at LA 27 south of Sulphur. This section is more or less superfluous and passes through largely empty country.

After a several mile long multiplex with LA 27 northward, LA 108 assumes its second identity – a multilane highway which services various industrial facilities and a major Citgo petrochemical refinery on the western side of the Lake Charles area. The high build quality is due to consistent use by freight traffic. This eastern segment makes an “L” shape – east, then north, to a terminus at US 90. The interchange with I-10 is worth mentioning as it comprises a full cloverleaf, a type of interchange which is not necessarily uncommon in La., but not incredibly prolific either. The cloverleaf was also presumably constructed to serve the industrial related traffic.

LA 109

Length: 39.84 miles
Southern terminus: US 90, Toomey
Northern terminus: LA 27, Juanita
Parishes: Calc, Be
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 389, Fields

LA 109 traverses the deep southwestern extents of the state in a north-south fashion through a vastly wooded and undeveloped area, serving only small communities including Toomey and Starks.

LA 110

Length: 24.97 miles
Western terminus: US 190, Merryville
Eastern terminus: US 171, Longville
Parishes: Be
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 27, Singer

Southwest Louisiana, outside the Lake Charles area, is for the most part vastly under-populated. LA 110 reflects that fact, as most of its route traverses piney forests and open tracts with few population centers in between. However, it provides a useful, though underutilized, link in a rare region of the state with few through state highways.

LA 111

Length: 46.53 miles
Southern terminus: US 190, Junction
Northern terminus: LA 117 NE of Leesville
Parishes: Be, Vern
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 8, Burr Ferry; LA 392 W of Anacoco

As the state route numbers increase, increasingly we intrude on regions of the state which are more unfamiliar to this southlander. Thus commentary is reduced somewhat, given no personal experience with these roads. LA 111 is such a highway; the best that can be said is that its routing is largely lightly populated pine lands along the western tier of the state, turning east to serve Anacoco and terminating at a seemingly random place on LA 117.

LA 112

Length: 81.47 miles
Western terminus: US 171/190, De Ridder
Eastern terminus: US 71/167, Lecompte
Parishes: Be, Al, Rap
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 377 W of Sugartown; LA 10, Elizabeth; LA 121, Hineston; US 165, Forest Hill

LA 112 traverses perhaps the most winding and nonsensical routing of any secondary state highway in Louisiana. Progressing east, then turning north, then turning back east again, following LA 112 end to end as a through route is an impractical consideration. Nevertheless its various segments provide various central Louisiana connections along its convoluted course.

LA 112 may be the only LA route where both ends terminate at a pair of multiplexed US highways.

LA 113

Length: 55.06 miles
Southern terminus: US 190, Reeves
Northern terminus: US 165, Glenmora
Parishes: Al, Be, Vern, Rap
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 10, Pitkin

LA 113 traverses the same general area of the state as its cousin LA 112, and like its cousin road carves a curving alignment which produces a long arc through a lightly populated portion of the state. There are more rapid routes which traverse between its two endpoints.

LA 114

Length: 20.80 miles
Western terminus: LA 1, Echo
Eastern terminus: LA 1, Hamburg
Parishes: Av
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 115, Hessmer; LA 105, Mansura

LA 114, at a glance, functions as a cutoff for LA 1; as that highway loops north through Marksville, LA 114 continues its general line through central Avoyelles Parish. The eastern end follows Bayou des Glaises and is maddeningly indirect. The recommended short route is to follow LA 1 to LA 1186 to reach Mansura center and bypass Moreauville.

LA 115

Length: 60.70 miles
Southern terminus: LA 106, St. Landry
Northern terminus: LA 28, Holloway
Parishes: Ev, Av, Rap
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 29, Bunkie; LA 114, Hessmer; LA 107, Marksville to Effie

Combining with more that the average of state roads during its run, LA 115 traverses the heart of thriving Avoyelles Parish and connects its two major centers, Bunkie and Marksville. (Well, Bunkie is no longer that major a center after losing the battle for the Super Wal*Mart to Marksville – actually Mansura, since the coveted big box actually lies within that town’s boundaries. Such is economic development in the hinterland. But enough Avoyelles Parish politics for today.) In any case, LA 115 is an important north-south connection within the central region of the state, even meriting its own Red River span (shared with LA 107) at Moncla. The southernmost segment, west of I-49, sees less relevance than the rest of the highway.

LA 116

Length: 8.49 miles
Western terminus: US 165, Tioga
Eastern terminus: LA 28, Libuse
Parishes: Rap
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

A short SR for this range, LA 116’s primary purpose for existence was to connect the Alexandria area with its former primary commercial airport, Esler Field, situated in Libuse in the eastern reaches of Rapides Parish. When the former England AFB was closed in 1992 and subsequently redeveloped into Alexandria International Airport (international? Wonder how many foreign flights they get? ), it spelled death for Esler Field as a facility of civil aviation importance (not that it was too important before) and concurrently spelled the end of usefulness for LA 116. (Esler Field is apparently now a military only facility.) Oh well, jets may land elsewhere now but LA 116 remains, wasting state highway mileage like so many other routes.

LA 117

Length: 41.63 miles
Southern terminus: LA 8, Leesville
Northern terminus: LA 6, Hagewood
Parishes: Vern, Nat
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

Traversing the empty piney barrens of Kistachie National Forest in west central La., LA 117 is nonetheless important as it comprises an important regional connector between the two relatively important smaller centers of Natchitoches and Leesville. The Mediterranean inspired city of Provencal is encountered along its length.

LA 118

Length: 27.32 miles
Western terminus: US 171, Florien
Eastern terminus: End of state maintenance @ some random point east of Kistachie
Parishes: Sa, Nat
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

Appearing important but in actuality providing poor connections to anyplace important, LA 118 traverses the piney wastes east of Florien, crossing LA 117 before coming to end at a seemingly random point in the Kistachie National Forest. The usefulness of this road would be increased if state control continued to a logical terminus on the east end (say at LA 121), but seeing the barren environs traversed, it is questionable if that would improve matters much.

LA 119

Length: 28.62 miles
Southern terminus: LA 8, Flatwoods
Northern terminus: LA 1, Natchez
Parishes: Rap, Nat
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 494, Bermuda

LA 119 exists in two guises: an unremarkable central La. road arching from LA 8 north to LA 1 at Derry, and a winding road paralleling LA 1 and serving the Cane River area with its plantation homes and other sedentary attractions, where the New Orleans Creole elites made their second homes back in antebellum days.

LA 120

Length: 37.20 miles (as of 2002)
Western terminus (west segment): US 171, Zwolle
Eastern terminus (west segment): LA 6, Robeline
Western terminus (east segment): LA 117, Provencal
Eastern terminus (east segment): LA 1, Cypress
Parishes: Sa, Nat
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

As may be evident by the above description, LA 120, a formerly continuous route, has now been severed into two pieces. (Look for a new 32xx designation to crop up on one of the segments any day now.) In any case this road mostly serves as a relatively important connector between various west central La. towns.

The nature of the decommissioned segment, between Robeline and Provencal, proves that the LaDOTD is run by idiots. Of all the segments of the road to turn back, they choose the one section that directly connects two incorporated towns! Of all the state maintained roads in Louisiana that deserve to be junked (many entirely) and returned to local governments, they choose this road. The mind boggles.

LA 121

Length: 46.83 miles
Western terminus: LA 8, Slagle
Eastern terminus: LA 1, Boyce
Parishes: Vern, Rap
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 112, Hineston

Another DOTD exercise in futility, LA 121 follows a semi-convoluted route across the west central section of the state. To be fair, this was not LA 121 as originally conceived. (The north-south odd designation is a fair giveaway on that front.) Most of this route, in particular the zigzagging east-west segment from LA 8 east to the eastern LA 28 junction, was part of the original routing of LA 28. The relatively low number likely stems from the fact that the original portion of LA 121 serves Hotwells, which, as the name implies, was a tourist destination in an earlier era.

LA 122

Length: 26.69 miles
Western terminus: US 71, Montgomery
Eastern terminus: LA 123, Dry Prong
Parishes: Gr
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 471, New Verda

LA 122 is a classic upcountry route which connects the towns of Montgomery and that amusingly named endless source of laughs, Dry Prong. (North Louisiana in a nutshell, folks. Hard to believe we southlanders share a state with them.)

Given Louisiana’s propensity to assume every even slightly important strip of pavement into the state highway system, it is a wonder why LA 122 does not continue its southeasterly trajectory along the existing parish road to US 165 at Pollock, which even from my cynical perspective would seem a logical routing. As far as I know it has never traversed this distance. Ooh, a rare need to extend a La. state highway!

LA 123

Length: 16.04 miles
Southern terminus: LA 8 west of Dry Prong
Northern terminus: US 165, Breezy Hill
Parishes: Gr
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 494, Bermuda

Making a perfect southwest-northeast diagonal, LA 123 is another forlorn Grant Parish highway, this time connecting the parish seat of Colfax with Dry Prong and US 165, headed for points north. Virtually all of its routing resides within a large section of the Kistachie National Forest.

LA 124

Length: 92.64 miles
Southern terminus: LA 3102, Argo
Western terminus: US 84, Colgrade
Parishes: Cat, Las, Win
Multilane sections: None known
Multiplexes: LA 125, Olla; LA 126, Rosefield; LA 8, Harrisonburg; US 84, Jonesville
LA 124 is a lengthy road which traverses the piney Bible Belt woodlands of central Louisiana. As is seemingly par for the course in Louisiana, its routing makes little sense and makes a distinct “L” shape. South of Jonesville it traverses many miles into the southern Lasalle Parish wilderness, along what is essentially a dead end routing.

LA 125

Length: 18.61 miles
Southern terminus: US 165, Tullos
Northern terminus: US 165, Standard
Parishes: Las, Cald
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: LA 124, Olla

LA 125 is an interesting highway, as it distinctly comprises an old alignment of US 165, which was bypassed in the middle 1940s. The state route penetrates the center of the several towns in northwest Lasalle Parish (Tullos, Urania, Olla) while US 165 traverses a straight bypass alignment to the southeast.

LA 125 Spur

Length: 0.65 miles
Southern terminus: LA 125
Western terminus: US 165
Parishes: Las
Multilane sections: None
Multiplexes: None

A short connection between LA 125 and US 165 to the north of Tullos which permits a smoother flow of traffic from US 165 into the town from the north.

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