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Interstate 49 Northbound (Alexandria Vicinity)

The Guide to Interstate 49 is split into four components:

Northbound
Interstate 49 northbound skims the southwestern corner of Avoyelles Parish for nine miles. Situated within the rural parish is the Exit 46 diamond interchange with Louisiana 106 (Saint Landry Highway). The state highway links the freeway with Saint Landry and Bayou Chicot to the southwest. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Near the community of Haas is the second diamond interchange of Avoyelles Parish on Interstate 49. Intersecting the freeway here is Louisiana 115, a 60.70-mile highway traveling between Louisiana 106 and Louisiana 28. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 115 travels east-west within the vicinity of the Exit 53 interchange. The state highway provides the main route into the town of Bunkie (pop. 4,662) from Interstate 49. Bunkie Municipal Airport resides on the 5.5 mile stretch between the freeway and MacArthur Street in Bunkie itself. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 enters Rapides Parish midway between Exits 53 and 56. Pictured here is the one-mile guide sign of Louisiana 181 (Exit 56). Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at Louisiana 181 (Exit 56). Louisiana 181 constitutes 4.22 miles or roadway between Louisiana 115 and U.S. 71 at Cheneyville (pop. 901). Photo taken 10/18/03.
U.S. 167 returns to intersect Interstate 49 at the Exit 61 diamond interchange three miles south of Meeker. U.S. 167 departs Interstate 49 via Exit 23 near Opelousas and the community of Nuba. From there the federal highway travels northwest to Ville Platte (pop. 8,145) and Turkey Creek (pop. 356) in Evangeline Parish. Photo taken 10/18/03.
One-half mile south of U.S. 167 (Exit 61) on Interstate 49. U.S. 167 travels ten miles southward to Turkey Creek and junction Louisiana 13. Louisiana 13 sinks south from there to Eunice (pop. 11,499) and Crowley (pop. 14,225). Photo taken 10/18/03.

Four lanes of concrete travel through the Exit 61 junction with U.S. 167. Northward three miles U.S. 167 merges with U.S. 71 near the village of Meeker. From there the pair travel northwestward to Lecompte (pop. 1,366) and the Alexandria metropolitan area. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Three miles west of Lecompte, Interstate 49 intersects Louisiana 112. The state highway travels Wall and Water Streets westward from U.S. 71 & 167 to the Exit 66 diamond interchange. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Milepost 66 and the one-half mile guide sign for Exit 66 with Louisiana 112. The state highway composes 81.47 miles of roadway between Lecompte and the junction of U.S. 171 & 190 at De Ridder (pop. 9,808). Photo taken 10/18/03.
Northbound on Interstate 49 at the Exit 66 off-ramp to Louisiana 112. Seven miles west of the freeway Louisiana 112 merges onto U.S. 165 at the community of Forest Hill (pop. 456). From there the tandem share a two-mile overlap northward along the Kisatchie National Forest boundary. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 skims the boundary of Kisatchie National Forest itself in the vicinity of Exit 73. Pictured here is the one-mile guide sign for the junction of Louisiana 3265 and Rapides Parish 22 (Robinson Bridge Road). Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 3265 tallies 2.90 miles on its journey between Interstate 49 and U.S. 165 at Woodworth (pop. 1,080). Rapides Parish 22 takes over for the state highway on Robison Bridge Road eastward. Photo taken 10/18/03.
The two-mile guide sign of U.S. 71 & 167 (MacArthur Drive) on Interstate 49 northbound. The freeway curves northeasterly toward the Exit 80 directional interchange on the outskirts of the Alexandria metropolitan area (pop. 126,337). Photo taken 10/18/03.
U.S. 71 & 167 overlap from Meeker northwest to Alexandria (pop. 46,342) for a distance of 15 miles. Until recently the highways continued together for another half mile to the junction of MacArthur Drive with Lee Street & Horseshoe Drive. From there U.S. 167 turned northward onto Lee Street. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Through to 1996, Interstate 49 saw a temporary ending at the MacArthur Drive interchange (Exit 80). The segment of freeway between Exit 80 and 90 was the last to open within the city of Alexandria. Traffic then was directed onto U.S. 71 & 167 northbound to the Masonic Drive traffic circle with U.S. 165. From there motorists continued northward on MacArthur Drive (U.S. 71 & 165) to Bolton Avenue (Louisiana 1) northbound. Louisiana 1 directed motorists back onto the freeway at Airbase Road. Pictured here is the one-half mile guide sign of Exit 80 at the Gene Ball Drive undercrossing. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at MacArthur Drive (U.S. 71 & U.S. 167 south). U.S. 167 northbound now overlaps with Interstate 49 between Exits 80 and 84. A Bypass U.S. 71 also begins here and follows the freeway northward. The 2003 official state map still displays U.S. 167 on MacArthur Drive with U.S. 71 west of Interstate 49. Thus the realignment must be a recent occurrence. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 & U.S. 167-71 Bypass at the Sugar House Road half-diamond interchange two miles south of Broadway Avenue (Exit 83). The southbound only exit sees a northbound on-ramp ahead. Interstate 49 maintains just four lanes throughout the Alexandria metropolitan area. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Eddie Williams Avenue enters the picture adjacent to the northbound carriageway and a railroad line follows the southbound side between Exits 81 and 83. The northbound side frontage road continues for one mile through to Broadway Avenue. Photo taken 10/18/03.
The freeway elevates onto a short viaduct above Broadway Avenue and adjacent railroad lines. Broadway Avenue composes a north-south surface street between Lee Street (old U.S. 167) and Louisiana 1 and 2nd Street along the Red River waterfront. Photo taken 10/18/03.
A loop ramp carries northbound motorists onto Broadway Avenue at Exit 83. Broadway Avenue itself also elevates over the adjacent railroad lines below. Dallas Avenue stems from the partial cloverleaf interchange westward to Lee Street and Texas Avenue. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 & U.S. 167-71 Bypass travel underneath Broadway Avenue at the Exit 83 gore point. The traffic signals above are for the southbound off-ramp to Broadway Avenue. Photo taken 10/18/03.
The Pineville Expressway begins from Interstate 49 & U.S. 167-71 Bypass at Exit 84 in one half mile. Here U.S. 167 departs the Interstate system for the ten mile freeway across the Red River into the city of Pineville (pop. 13,829). A small auxiliary sign directs Monroe (pop. 53,107) bound motorists onto U.S. 167 northbound. Connections with U.S. 165 take drivers from Interstate 49 to the northeastern Louisiana city. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 & U.S. 71 Bypass at the split with U.S. 167 (Exit 84). Entering the freeway from the Pineville Expressway southbound is Louisiana 28. The state highway turns northward onto Interstate 49 for two miles to Exit 86. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Traveling on the Exit 84 off-ramp for the Pineville Expressway northbound (U.S. 167 north & Louisiana 28 east). Departing from the Interstate 49 mainline is the Exit 85A directional ramp for Martin Luther King Drive and downtown Alexandria. The off-ramp links the freeway to the original U.S. 167 one-way street couplet of Mason and Overton Streets (U.S. 165 Business). Photo taken 10/18/03.
The U.S. 167 north & Louisiana 28 eastbound ramp sees an off-ramp for Louisiana 28 Business (Casson Street) and Louisiana 1 before merging with the southbound Interstate 49 ramp to the Pineville Expressway. Casson Street parallels the freeway on the northbound side for nine blocks between this ramp and 2nd Street along the Red River. Photo taken 10/18/03.
A third northbound lane adds to Interstate 49 & U.S. 71 Bypass north and Louisiana 28 westbound for Exit 85B (Monroe Street and Medical Center Drive). Photo taken 10/18/03.
Northbound at the Exit 85B off-ramp to Monroe Street. The freeway mainline and off-ramps elevate over adjacent railroads and the city street grid below. Medical Center Drive travels from Interstate 49 to Rapides Regional Medical Center. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at the second MacArthur Drive interchange of the city of Alexandria. Here Louisiana 28 westbound departs as U.S. 71 Bypass draws to a silent close. U.S. 165 follows Massonic Drive into the city of Alexandria through to U.S. 71 (MacArthur Drive). From there northward the highways overlap five miles to Interstate 49 and 2.5 miles northward into Pineville. Louisiana 28 follows MacArthur Drive two miles westward to Coliseum Boulevard. The state highway travels Coliseum Boulevard to the Rapides Parish Coliseum on the 50-mile drive to Leesville (pop. 6,753) and junction U.S. 171. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Exit 90 represents the northern terminus of the 5.12-mile Louisiana 498 (Airbase Road). Airbase Road links the freeway with nearby Alexandria International Airport and Louisiana 1 (Bolton Avenue). Photo taken 10/18/03.
The Exit 90 diamond interchange is that last to receive overhead highway lighting on Interstate 49 northbound between Alexandria and Shreveport. The junction is also the last for the Alexandria metropolitan area. Louisiana 498 parallels Louisiana 1 from Airbase Road southward on England Drive to U.S. 71 & 165 (MacArthur Drive). Photo taken 10/18/03.
One mile south of Rapides Parish 23 (Rapides Station Road) on Interstate 49 northbound. Louisiana 1 follows the freeway closely on the southbound side between milepost 92 and Exit 98. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Drawing to within one quarter mile of Exit 94 (Rapides Parish 23) on Interstate 49 north. Rapides Station Road is a local highway that spurs southward toward Louisiana 496 (Hot Wells Road) near the community of Weil. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at Rapides Parish 23 (Rapides Station Road). River Road and Old Boyce Road among other local roads tie into the diamond interchange from the north. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 1 crosses paths with Interstate 49 again at Exit 98 near the town of Boyce (pop. 1,190). The state highway shadows the freeway from Alexandria northward to the village of Cypress. The state highway overall travels from the northwest corner of the state to Grand Isle (pop. 1,541) on the Gulf of Mexico for a distance of 436.20 miles. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 veers to the west under Louisiana 1 at Boyce and Exit 98. Louisiana 1 itself cuts through the heart of down, merging with Louisiana 8 (Ulster Avenue) in the process. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Attached to the Louisiana 1 overcrossing is the one-half mile guide sign of Exit 98. The upcoming diamond interchange sees Louisiana 8 enter the freeway for a four mile overlap. Louisiana 1200 ties into the junction from the southwest. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Upon completion of Interstate 49, Louisiana 8 saw relocation from a northward overlap with Louisiana 1 onto Louisiana 1200 and Interstate 49 between Exits 99 and 103. Louisiana 1200 itself spurs from Boyce southward for 9.97 miles to junction Louisiana 121. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound & Louisiana 8 westbound reassurance shield assembly posted after Exit 99. Photo taken 10/18/03.
One-mile guide sign of the Exit 103 departure of Louisiana 8 west from Interstate 49 northbound. Louisiana 8 travels ten miles west to Flatwoods before turning southwesterly to Simpson (pop. 583) and Slagle en route to Leesville. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 north & Louisiana 8 west one half mile before their partition. The space below Flatwoods on the Exit 103 associated guide sign most likely displayed Zimmerman for old Louisiana 8 east. The village resides within a mile of the interchange off of Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 8 westbound departs Interstate 49 via the Exit 103 off-ramp. Louisiana 1 parallels the freeway close by to the east through to Exit 127 but never sees a direct interchange. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound one mile south of Exit 107 for the community of Lena. Photo taken 10/18/03.
One half mile south of the Exit 107 diamond interchange with Lena Flatwoods Road. The local highway travels between Louisiana 1 and Louisiana 8 for 8.6 miles. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 at Lena Flatwoods Road, one half mile southwest of Lena and Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
An abandoned parking area or ghost ramp of some sorts is situated on Interstate 49 northbound between Exits 107 and 113. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 departs Rapides Parish and enters Natchitoches Parish on the journey between Lena and Chopin (Exit 113). Louisiana 490 ties into the freeway here in conjunction with Emmanuel Road. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 490 spurs from Interstate 49 southward three miles to the community of Janie. East of the freeway the state highway follows Emmanuel and Abraham Road 1.5 miles to Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Traffic to Louisiana 490 departs Interstate 49 via the Exit 113 off-ramp. According the Geographic Feature File for all of the State Maintained Highways in Louisiana, Louisiana 490 travels 15.32 miles between Janie and junction Louisiana 8 at Colfax (pop. 1,659). However the Official state map omits the routing and it appears that the state highway ends at the Red River across from Colfax rather than crossing the waterway to Louisiana 8 (2nd & Main Streets). Photo taken 10/18/03.
Five miles to the north of Louisiana 490 is the one-mile guide sign of Exit 119 (Louisiana 119). The state highway intersects Interstate 49 at the community of Derry adjacent to Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
The Louisiana 119 interchange serves the nearby village of Cloutierville at junction Louisiana 1 and 495 to the east. Pictured here is the 0.50-mile guide sign of Exit 119. Note that the exit number and route number are identical. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at Derry and Louisiana 119 (Exit 119). The state highway comprises a 28.62 routing between Flatwoods (junction Louisiana 8) and Natchez (pop. 583) and junction Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 again skims the outskirts of Kisatchie National Forest on the trek between Exits 119 and 127 (Louisiana 120). The federal land constitutes 640,000 acres spread over seven parishes and five Ranger Districts. Visitors will find 355 miles of trails for hiking, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, or off-road vehicle riding. Hunting and fishing opportunities also exist at one of the four lakes found within the parkland. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 120 intersects the freeway at the village of Cypress. The state highway ends one mile to the east at junction Louisiana 1. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Northbound at the Exit 127 diamond interchange for Louisiana 120. The 37.20-mile highway travels westward three miles to junction Louisiana 478 and the community of Flora. From there Louisiana 120 continues another seven miles to Provencal (pop. 708) and junction Louisiana 117. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 478 junctions with Interstate 49 at Exit 132. The north-south roadway travels between Flora and Louisiana 1 within five miles of the freeway. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Interstate 49 northbound at Louisiana 478 (Exit 132). Louisiana 478 tallies 20.93 miles between Vowells Mill and Louisiana 1. The majority of the highway exists within the Kisatchie National Forest. Photo taken 10/18/03.
1.50 miles south of Louisiana 6 (Exit 138) on Interstate 49 northbound. The upcoming interchange serves the Natchitoches Parish seat of Natchitoches (pop. 17,865). Louisiana 6 follows College Avenue from downtown three miles westward to Interstate 49. Photo taken 10/18/03.
Nearing the Exit 138 diamond interchange with Louisiana 6. The city of Natchitoches was the first permanent settlement within the Louisiana Purchase. Founded in 1714, the city began as a trading post along the Red River near a village of Natchitoches Indians. Several plantations sprung up along the river, fueling the growth of the city. However as time progressed the Red River changed its course, removing itself from the city. What was the river is now Cane River Lake, a body of water stretching from downtown to the plantations.1 Photo taken 10/18/03.
Louisiana 6 travels 54.45 miles from the Sabine River and Texas state line through Many (pop. 2,889), Fort Jessup, Robeline (pop. 183), and Hagewood before intersecting Interstate 49 at Exit 138. The state highway ends six miles northeast of Natchitoches at Clarence (pop. 516) and junction U.S. 71. Photo taken 10/18/03.
The only overhead sign assembly between the cities of Alexandria and Shreveport is posted at the Louisiana 6 off-ramp at Exit 138. Natchitoches is known as the "City of Lights". During the Christmas season one can find an illuminated billboard at the Exit 138 interchange touting the city for its annual Christmas Festival. Began in 1926 with the stringing of lights along Front Street, the City of Lights added fireworks to is annual festivities by the 1930s. Since then parades and other entertainment activities have added to the popular regional event. Photo taken 10/18/03.

Sources:
1 - City of Natchitoches web site.<

Page Updated February 27, 2004.