New Orleans @ SouthEastRoads

The Big Easy, New Orleans is the hub of the north-central Gulf of Mexico coastline, with 496,938 residents. The city is nestled along the banks of the mighty Mississippi, and has existed since the French colonial times. The city is best known for Mardi Gras, the home of Jazz, and occasionally the Super Bowl. The cultural hearth of the city is unmatched by any other in the southeast United States.

The history of New Orleans changed forever when the city was dealt a major blow by the landfall of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. The catastrophic storm raked the city with 115 mile per hour winds and a storm surge that toppled several sections of the protective levees. During Labor Day weekend of 2005, some of the levees failed, allowing waters from Lake Ponchartrain to inundate the city. The following weeks resulted in a full scale evacuation of the city as 10 to 15 feet of water submerged portions of the city. Recovery efforts continued in the long term, but some nine months after the first winds of Katrina moved in, the city remained a shell of its former self. It was estimated that just 225,000 lived in the city as of mid 2006, but those numbers were expected to climb slowly as rebuilding continued. A number of roads and bridges were effected by the storm. See the Hurricane Katrina Road Information page for a more in depth look at how Katrina impacted the road system during and after the storm.



Interstate 10

An often congested freeway serving most of New Orleans Metropolitan area. The freeway enters the area from the west along a ten mile viaduct over the southwestern part of Lake Ponchartrain watershed. At Interstate 310, Interstate 10 returns to grade level and widens to six lanes, quickly seeing increased traffic counts due to the location of the New Orleans International Airport within the city of Kenner. Speed limit in the metro is generally 60 mph unless otherwise posted, but traffic often flows at a much slower rate during the peak hours of traffic. The interchange with Interstate 610 was rebuilt by early 2000 allowing for smoother transitions from one route to the other, with the Westbank Expressway junction seeing a redesign in 1993/94. Most of the freeway was complete by the mid 1960s and the design reflects this era.


Interstate 310

Freeway serving the southwest portion of the greater New Orleans metropolitan area. The freeway is elevated for most of its duration as it crosses over wetlands area associated with the Mississippi River watershed. The northernmost viaduct portion ties into Interstate 10 and Interstate 55 to the west for a seamless 38 miles. This is the longest continuous viaduct system in the world. Southward at Destrehan Interstate 310 crosses the cable-stayed Mississippi River Bridge. This span, which saw deck replacement in 1999/2000, rises high up above the fertile plains situated nearby. Currently the southern terminus occurs at U.S. 90 near Boutte. This interchange sees stub viaducts, as the freeway will eventually see a short extension to the future Interstate 49.


Interstate 510

Interstate 510 links Chalmette with eastern New Orleans. The 3.16-mile freeway spur ties into the Louisiana 47 Intracoastal Waterway Bridge to the south and Interstate 10 to the north. Replacing Paris Road, the original Louisiana 47, the north-south freeway serves the Lake Forest, Michoud, and New Orleans East communities of the city. Additionally the freeway serves the Six Flags New Orleans theme park, closed since the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, and the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. Much of the Interstate 510 corridor and areas surrounding the freeway received extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina. As of June 2006, many homes, businesses, and the like remained abandoned and in a devastated state.


Interstate 610

4.30 mile Interstate that allows through traffic to bypass the downtown area of New Orleans in lieu of Interstate 10. The freeway ends at Interstate 10 in both directions, crosses New Orleans City Park, and is mostly elevated on viaduct. It should be noted that this six lane freeway receives a heavy amount of local traffic, and is often congested in its own right. The freeway was opened to traffic during the late 1960s.


Pontchartrain and Westbank Expressways

The proposed Interstate number for the West Bank Expressway (U.S. 90 Business). It was thought due to the length of time until Interstate 49 is extended to the area, an Interstate designation for this freeway was logical. This idea first came to fruition in 1999 and since than has never resurfaced with any publicity. Interstate 910 was all but forgotten until the October 31, 2002 Interstate Route Log and Finders List revealed the designation on its Auxiliary Routes page. With that stated, Interstate 910 shields have not been placed on the 9.70 mile alignment and thus the designation will be considered hidden until such a time when they are posted.

Other Freeways


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

Four lane roadway bisecting Lake Pontchartrain between Metairie and Mandeville on the north shore. The highway sees twin two-lane bridges and a 55 mph speed limit. Various crossovers are in place, with call boxes and variable message signs along the route to aid motorists. A draw span is situated eight miles south of the north shore. The southbound direction is tolled $3.00 per passenger vehicles, with a collection of fares at the Northshore toll plaza. The Southshore toll plaza no longer collects tolls, but remains in place with northbound traffic passing through the now abandoned booths at 25 mph. The north end transitions into a freeway through Mandeville to Interstate 12 with U.S. 190. South in Metairie the story is much different, with interchanges at Veterans Memorial Highway, Interstate 10, U.S. 61/Airline Highway, and U.S. 90/Jefferson Highway. Other than these interchanges, traffic crawls through congested intersections in the heavily developed area.

Some maps show Causeway Boulevard as the Greater New Orleans Expressway. Additionally, a color code system of markers was in place at one time, directing travelers from the southern terminus of the causeway. The system saw red markers for traffic into New Orleans and points east. Green markers led drivers to U.S. 90 and points west, while blue markers directed traffic to Baton Rouge and connections along U.S. 61. A 1966 New Orleans metro map shows the causeway as Louisiana 3046.

North/ South

Earhart Expressway / Vieux Carre Expressway

Origins of the unconstructed Vieux Carre Expressway date back to 1946 when New York transportation pioneer Robert Moses unveiled his "Arterial Plan for New Orleans". The Vieux Carre or Riverfront Expressway was Moses' most controversial element of the plan. However criticism of the idea did not emerge until October of 1964 when $25 million in funds was allocated to the 3.5-mile freeway project. At this time a 690 foot long and 98 foot wide six-lane tunnel was already under construction. The subterranean roadwork began between Poydras and Canal Streets in the foundations of the 1967 opened Rivergate. A heated battle ensued from there between proponents of the Riverfront Expressway and community leaders. The freeway was to straddle the Mississippi Riverfront between Elysian Fields Avenue and the Pontchartrain Expressway. Opposition finally won out July of 1969.2

The Riverfront Expressway project was to tie directly into the Earhart Expressway (Louisiana 3139). A study in 1969 tried to reinforce the concept of an outer belt freeway system between the Riverfront and Earhart Expressways. The plan would also involve a new Mississippi River crossing uptown via Earhart Boulevard at Napoleon Avenue.2 The Earhart Expressway was to travel between Louisiana 49 (Williams Boulevard) near New Orleans International Airport (MSY) eastward to the Pontchartrain Expressway via Earhart Boulevard. Following the cancellation of the Riverfront Expressway proposal, the Earhart Expressway was rescinded westward to the New Orleans city limits at the Jefferson Parish line. The portion of the highway within Jefferson Parish was constructed. However, some elements were never completed, such as an interchange with Causeway Boulevard and an eastbound off-ramp to U.S. 61 (Airline Drive) near the New Orleans city line. The northern terminus also alludes to further extension, with stub ends and a wide right of way at Louisiana 3154 (Dickory Drive). Louisiana 3139 south transitions to Earhart Boulevard, a four-lane surface route, through to Downtown New Orleans. The state route officially ends at the boulevard intersection with Monroe Street.

Justin Priola adds (07/25/02):

"The routing of I-310 was to be part of the Riverfront Expressway, a proposed downtown elevated highway. Starting at the Pontchartrain Expwy. (right at the foot of the Miss. River bridge), the highway would have followed the riverbank north from there, cutting through the CBD and the French Quarter, then turning inland at Elysian Fields and following its median (like I-10 does on Claiborne) to a junction with I-10 at the present Elysian Fields exit (one reason why it's so large). The Riverfront Expressway would also have continued upriver (but not I-310) from the Pontchartrain Expwy. to connect with a proposed Miss. River bridge uptown and with the Earhart Expwy. The highway was killed mainly because it would have ruined the Quarter (can you imagine an elevated expressway in front of Jackson Square NOT ruining the Quarter?). One piece of the highway was actually built, but you can't see it - a tunnel under what is now Harrah's casino - that Harrah's uses now for a valet parking garage. For in-depth information, read "The Second Battle of New Orleans" by Borah and Baumbuch, all about the expressway controversy - a must read."

A future interchange joining Causeway Boulevard and the Earhart Expressway is planned. An Environmental Assessment on the potential interchange was completed in 2008 with a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). Further analysis from a traffic study however indicated that unaccounted for local traffic congestion could result from the preferred interchange design selected previously. Therefore a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) was undertaken while additional traffic flow improvements were identified. The SEA was completed by 2015, followed by a public comment period.4

Proposed Riverfront Expressway in 1969


Pontchartrain and Westbank Expressways

Not really a Business Route in the sense of traditional business routes, the Westbank Expressway spurs southward from downtown New Orleans and Interstate 10 to Gretna, Harvey, and other Westbank communities. The Pontchartrain Expressway portion of U.S. 90 Business saw reconstruction in the early 1990s resulting in a redesigned stack interchange at Interstate 10 and new viaducts southward to the Greater New Orleans/Crescent City Connection cantilever bridges. A reversible two-lane HOV facility was also constructed during the project. The HOV roadway travels between the Crescent City Connection toll plaza northward to Loyola Avenue.

The Westbank Expressway begins at the Mississippi River Bridge and travels westward to U.S. 90 at Avondale. The freeway carries six lanes overall and is elevated from the Crescent City Connection & Greater New Orleans Bridges westward to Ames Avenue. The six lane Harvey Canal bridge crosses over the original tunnel crossing under the navigation channel.

Justin Priola adds (07/25/02):

"The Harvey Tunnel still exists, only under the high rise bridge. It serves to connect the Westbank Expressway service roads across the Harvey Canal. I myself didn't know that it still existed until I investigated one day. The tunnel used to serve as the expressway mainline when it was only an at-grade highway with traffic lights. Today the service roads, which originally didn't cross the canal, have been altered to lead into and through the tunnel. The tunnel is of 1950's vintage with four narrow lanes and a median separator."

U.S. 90 Business reverts to the original frontage road system from Ames Avenue westward to U.S. 90. A wide grassy median exists between the roadways for the eventual extension of the Westbank Expressway and Interstate 49. Traffic is very heavy throughout this roadway and the sooner Interstate 49 is built, the better.

The Westbank Expressway was reconstructed during the 1980s. The project entailed building 8.5 miles worth of six-lane viaduct and the high level Harvey Canal Bridge. The freeway project cost $365 million.1

U.S. Highways


U.S. 51

Not much of U.S. 51 remains independent of Interstate 55 south of Ponchatoula. The portion that does remain links Interstate 10 and Interstate 55 southward to LaPlace, a distance of about three miles. This roadway carries four lanes and a center turn lane from the southern terminus at U.S. 61 north to Interstate 10/Exit 209. The corridor is seeing rapid development, as more and more residents seek asylum from the city of New Orleans in the quieter swamplands. North of the Interstate 10/55/U.S. 51 triangle, the route overlaps with Interstate 55 for 27 miles. The first and second generations of U.S. 51 remain along the northbound side of the Interstate 55 viaduct, serving sleepy fishing shacks and villages along the way.


U.S. 61 - Airline Highway

Originally overlapped with U.S. 51, 65, and 71, U.S. 61 has been superseded by Interstate 10 from Baton Rouge southeastward to central New Orleans. The highway is multi lane and divided throughout the metropolitan area. Traffic is moderate to heavy, as the highway offers an alternative to Interstate 10 between Laplace and Reserve eastward to Saint Rose and the New Orleans International Airport. Within the Kenner and Metairie vicinity, the highway is typical of southeastern U.S. built up areas, with heavy commercial development along the right-of-way. An end sign is posted as the southern terminus, located at the intersection of Broad and Tulane Avenues.


U.S. 90 - Chef Menteur Highway

It is surprising to see U.S. 90 retains its convoluted street routing throughout the city of New Orleans. Where other cities have relocated to their U.S. highways, U.S. 90 remains relatively in tact throughout the greater New Orleans Metropolitan area. The highway enters the area across the Rigolets with two lanes, passing by coastal homes and swamps along the way. It is not until southwest of the U.S. 11 southern terminus that U.S. 90 sees an increase in development. At Interstate 510 however, the highway is well within the city limits, and the area residences and commercial buildings reflect this.

However, it is not until U.S. 90 crosses the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal that the roadway passes traditional dense urban scenery. The highway enters the city as the Chef Menteur Highway, then transitions Gentilly Avenue and Broad Avenue at Interstate 610. Southward the highway passes through residential neighborhoods until the intersection with U.S. 61/Tulane Avenue. At this point the route turns towards downtown and Claiborne Avenue near the Louisiana Superdome. Originally the highway used Canal Street, but this was relocated sometime after the 1960s.

From downtown to the west, U.S. 90 takes the curved alignment of Catherine Street westward out of the city, to the Jefferson Highway. It is near the Jefferson Heights area, that the roadway elevates in dramatic fashion over the cantilever Huey P. Long railroad/roadway span over the Mississippi River. Crossing into Bridge City, U.S. 90 passes Louisiana 18/Old Spanish Trail, before seeing an old style interchange with Business U.S. 90 as the route returns to a westward trajectory en route to Boutte and Houma. Of course, this routing will change dramatically once Interstate 49 is constructed.

State Highways

North/ South

Louisiana 23 - Belle Chasse Highway

Louisiana 23 begins at Gretna and travels southwards to Belle Chase and the New Orleans Naval Air Station. This highway is the only route to travel southward along the Mississippi River towards the delta. The southern terminus is situated at Venice, 75 miles south of the city. Before the completion of the Greater New Orleans Bridge (U.S. 90 Business), Louisiana 23 utilized the Jackson Avenue Ferry between Gretna and the city, following Jackson Avenue northward to U.S. 90/South Claiborne Avenue. This Jackson Avenue portion and Louisiana 23 from the ferry landing to Louisiana 18 on the southshore were originally Louisiana 2, with the rest of the highway south of Harvey designated as Louisiana 31. The Pelican State renumbered its highway system around 1957-58.


Louisiana 39 - North Claiborne Avenue

State highway beginning at U.S. 90 near Downtown on Claiborne Avenue and paralleling the Interstate 10 viaduct underneath at first. At Exit 236C of Interstate 10, Claiborne Avenue turns towards towards the southeast across the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal into eastern reaches of the city. The highway serves Jackson's Barracks, Arabi, and Chalmette in Saint Bernard Parish while paralleling the Mississippi River en route to Bohemia well to the south. The original Louisiana 39 followed the current Louisiana 46 routing from Elysian Fields Avenue eastward to Chalmette. The switch in highways occurred in the late 1960s.


Louisiana 3152 - Clearview Parkway

Constructed after the mid 1960s, Clearview Parkway links the Huey P. Long Bridge/U.S. 90 and the Jefferson Highway with U.S. 61/Airline Parkway. The highway is divided and carries six lanes of traffic between the two U.S. routes. Highlights include an expansive cloverleaf interchange with the Earhart Expressway/Louisiana 3139 (canceled Interstate 310). Louisiana 3152 constitutes 1.62 miles.

The southern terminus of Louisiana 3152 occurs at the north end of the Huey P. Long Bridge and the Jefferson Highway. The Jefferson Highway takes Louisiana 48 west heads to Harahan and U.S. 90 east to Jefferson and the city of New Orleans. U.S. 90 westbound crosses the bridge southward from Louisiana 3152. Photo taken 08/02/02.
The Clearview Parkway/Louisiana 3152 northbound at the interchange with Louisiana 3139. This roadway receives a heavy amount of traffic, due to its direct connection with the U.S. 90 Huey P. Long Bridge to the south. Therefore this interchange was designed to be expansive with higher speed ramps in lieu of standard cloverleaves to accommodate the traffic movements between the two multi lane highways. Photo taken 11/12/99.
Side profile of the above pictured overheads on Louisiana 3152 at Louisiana 3139/Earhart Expressway. Photo taken 08/02/02.


Louisiana 406

Traveling 6.0 miles along Woodland Highway and River Road, Louisiana 406 arcs north from Louisiana 23 at Belle Chase to Patterson Road along the Mississippi River in southeast New Orleans.

The first eastbound Louisiana 406 shield one sees as the state highway begins its journey from Louisiana 23 in the Belle Chase vicinity. A typical adopt-a-road sign is posted with this shield, as it features a pelican (the state bird). Photo taken 08/02/02.
A rural-like setting graces Louisiana 406 eastbound motorists in southern New Orleans. This is a stark contrast from other environs of the densely populated city, and one has to speculate as to how long before this area blossoms with development. In the background is the Louisiana 407 Intracoastal Waterway Bridge. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Guide sign on Louisiana 406 eastbound at the northbound beginning of Louisiana 406. Traffic continuing north eventually turns east than south, along the trajectory of the Mississippi River. Ultimately Louisiana 406 loops back around to English Turn, but as the sign displays, does not connect with any other roadway that leads back. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Shield assembly at the Louisiana 406/407 junction on eastbound. Louisiana 406 widens to four lanes at the bridge because of turning truck traffic. So with Louisiana 406 and 407 intersecting, where is Louisiana 408? Well the answer to that question is 90 miles to the northwest in the city of Baton Rouge. Photo taken 08/02/02.


Louisiana 407

Louisiana 407 crosses the Intracoastal Waterway between Orleans and Plaquemines Parish across the Algiers Cutoff Canal Bridge. The fixed crossing travels 100 feet above the canal water below. The bridge opened in 1985 at a cost of $20.8 million, replacing a vertical lift truss span.1

Sweeping to the northwest on the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge of Louisiana 407 northbound. The state highway has just begun, as the terminus is located with Louisiana 406 just to the right. Photo taken 08/02/02.
This high-level bridge for Louisiana 407 is one of only two waterway crossings in the Belle Chase/New Orleans/Terrytown quadrant. Because Louisiana 23 utilizes the Belle Chase Tunnel on southbound, all hazmat cargo is diverted to this bridge. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Descending towards the Algiers section of the city of New Orleans with the downtown skyline shrouded by distant haze on the horizon. Algiers is the community adjacent to the Mississippi River near the Greater New Orleans Bridge. During the late 19th Century, a devastating fire ravaged that portion of the city. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Louisiana 407 northbound turns onto Woodland Road from General De Gaulle Avenue at junction Louisiana 428. The state highway travels Woodland Road northward to General Myers Avenue (Louisiana 428). Photo taken 08/02/02.

Other Streets and Highways

Airport Boulevard

A four lane divided surface arterial connecting Interstate 10 with the Louis Armstrong/New Orleans International Airport in the city of Kenner. The highway recently saw decorative lighting and a concrete divider installed in lieu of a double yellow line. The roadway still maintains a low 35 mph speed limit. The Kenner Police Department has been known to strictly enforce the speed limit on Airport Boulevard.

A ring road loops through the terminal entrance and parking garages of Louis B. Armstrong International Airport. Several traffic lights exist on the Terminal Road between the entrance and exit onto U.S. 61 (Airline Highway) and the south end of Airport Boulevard. Pictured here is the Terminal Road intersection with the parking facilities exit. Photo taken 10/23/03.
The exit onto U.S. 61 (Airline Highway) from Terminal Road and the International Airport. Out of camera view to the left is where Terminal Road intersects the entrance from U.S. 61 and the south end of Airport Boulevard. Photo taken 10/23/03.
Guide signage partitions the left and right-hand lanes of Airport Boulevard northbound into lanes of Interstate 10 east and west. The control point for Interstate 10 westbound is omitted in favor of Veterans Boulevard, because there is no direct access. Photo taken 12/28/02.
Traffic wishing to access Interstate 10 westbound must travel through a traffic light and use the ramp via Veterans Boulevard. Traffic to Interstate 10 eastbound uses a flyover. Photo taken 12/28/02.

Bourbon Street

The main tourist destination for New Orleans and the Vieux Carre, Bourbon Street is open to vehicular traffic by day and to pedestrian only traffic at night. The architecture varies and the array of businesses lining the street include shops, jazz bars and clubs, eateries, and adult entertainment. The contrasts of the street day versus night are stark, with a complete change in atmosphere. During the day, the sidewalks are lightly traveled as compared to at night, with delivery trucks and service vehicles occasionally parked along the street. Hundreds or thousands pack the sidewalks and street well into the early morning hours as barricades block vehicular traffic.

A typical Bourbon Street sign and lamp post. All street signs in the Vieux Carre use this white on black format, with Rue (street name) also displayed. As shown with the one-way sign, Bourbon Street is one way in the eastbound direction. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Looking back towards the west after a March shower ended at Bourbon Street eastbound. Note the number of delivery vehicles parked along the roadway. Vendors must take advantage of the lack of midday traffic to deliver their goods before the street closes to vehicular traffic at night. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Eastbound Bourbon Street, a scene typical throughout most of the French Quarter, with porch mezzanines over the sidewalks themselves. It does rain quite a lot in New Orleans, especially in the Summer months. Photo taken 03/20/02.
An eclectic assortment of businesses can be found in any cultural hearth of a city. But with New Orleans, it is different, as many cultures mix together, giving you such businesses names as the Jazz Funeral. It should also be noted that the lore of Voodoo is prevalent in the Vieux Carre as well. Photo taken 03/20/02.
A rather quiet scene along Bourbon Street during the early afternoon. As the saying goes, Bourbon Street is indeed like night and day. During the day families and vendors can be seen trolling the streets but at night, revelry is the rule. Photo taken 03/20/02.
A revisit to Bourbon Street by car on the afternoon of August 2, 2002. The city of New Orleans is famous for its Creole flavor. The Redfish Grill, pictured in the first photo, is one of many French Quarter seafood based eateries. Bourbon Street truly is the home of the all night party. The street bustles with people from sunset until the early hours of the morning.

Canal Street

It derives its name from a canal that was never dug in its neutral ground. During the mid 19th century Canal Street was renamed to Touro Street only to be renamed Canal Street by public demand.3 The street is a four to six lane thoroughfare from the Mississippi waterfront near the New Orleans Convention Center and New Orleans World Trade Center northwestward through Interstate 10 towards New Orleans City Park. During colonial times, this street composed the western wall of the original settlement (which consists of just the French Quarter). Nowadays the street tingles with taxi cabs, buses, delivery vehicles, and tourists from Interstate 10 to the waterfront.

Traffic from Exit 234C of Interstate 10 westbound loops around and enters Canal Street just behind the camera at this location. The viaduct in the background is the 1960s creation of Interstate 10. Canal Street was signed as U.S. 90 between Broad Avenue and Claiborne Street through here originally. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Southbound Canal Street at Claiborne Avenue, parallel to the Interstate 10 viaduct. Although the guide signage only refers to U.S. 90 Business, U.S. 90 is also situated nearby at the intersection with Tulane Avenue. Canal Street enters the central business district on the other side of the viaduct. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Leaving Claiborne Avenue and Interstate 10 on Canal Street southbound. The high-rise district of New Orleans is from Canal Street southwestward to the U.S. 90 Business viaduct. Photo taken 03/20/02.
The intersection of Canal and Rampart Streets. Rampart is a divided four lane street along the northern boundary of the Vieux Carre. The path of the street was the north wall of the original New Orleans settlement. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Canal Street at its intersection with Baronne Avenue. This is a one way street in the westbound direction, and enters Canal as Dauphine Street. By this point, Canal Street is adjacent to the Vieux Carre by two blocks, so all streets to the left enter the original settlement of New Orleans. Construction was underway in what appeared to be a street scaping project. With that, it looks as if this traffic light assembly will be removed, as Dauphine Street will be blocked from crossing Canal and transitioning to Baronne Avenue. The large high-rise in the background is the World Trade Center of New Orleans. Photo taken 03/20/02.
With Exchange Place entering on the left, Canal Street continues to the Mississippi River waterfront as it approaches the upcoming intersection with Chartres Street. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Canal Street southbound at Decatur Street. The concrete building on the left is the U.S. Customs House with the World Trade Center taking center stage ahead. Canal Street ends two blocks ahead. Photo taken 03/20/02.

Carondelet Avenue

A main street connecting the hotel district along Saint Charles Street with the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. In fact, the Saint Charles street car line extends eastward to the Quarter from the Howard Street roundabout via Carondelet to a southern turn along Canal Street. Carondelet eventually changes names and becomes the infamous Bourbon Street when crossing into the Vieux Carre.

Near the intersection of Girod Street on Carondelet Street eastbound. The street carries two lanes and is one way towards the French Quarter. The Saint Charles line streetcar tracks can be seen embedded within the right-hand lane pavement. Photo taken 08/02/02.
At the intersection with the four-lane Poydras Street on Carondelet Street. Five blocks to the left (north) is the New Orleans Superdome, home to the NFL's Saints. To the right is the riverfront Spanish Plaza and the Harrah's Hotel and Casino. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Entrenched within the high-rise district of New Orleans on Carondelet Street. The right-hand lane doubles as the trackway for the Saint Charles Avenue streetcar line. The trolleys must adhere to convention traffic control devices and yield to pedestrians. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Making the turn at Common Street, Carondelet Street transitions to Bourbon Street at this intersection. The next intersection is that with the multi-lane Canal Street, the western edge of the Vieux Carre. Photo taken 08/02/02.
With the New Orleans World Trade Center in the background, the Saint Charles Street car line turns towards the Mississippi River waterfront from Carondelet Street eastbound. Meanwhile Carondelet enters the French Quarter as Bourbon Street. Photo taken 08/02/02.

Elysian Fields Avenue

A parkway like street from Esplanade Avenue on the eastern fringe of the Vieux Carre northward through Interstate 10 and 610 to the Ponchartrain Beach and the University of New Orleans. The roadway carries four lanes and is divided from Interstate 610 south towards the Mississippi River waterfront. The highway is a good alternative to the French Quarter in lieu of congested Canal Street. Louisiana 3021 composes 1.83 miles of the avenue between U.S. 90 (Gentilly Boulevard) and Louisiana 39 (N. Claiborne Avenue).

Elysian Fields Avenue northbound at Louisiana 46/Saint Claude Avenue. To the right, Louisiana 46 eastbound follows Saint Claude Avenue eastbound towards Louisiana 39, Jackson Barracks, and Chalmette. According to a 1966 map, this stretch of Louisiana 46 was originally signed as Louisiana 39. Louisiana 39 now is signed along Claiborne Avenue to the north at Elysian Fields Avenue eastward. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Elysian Fields Avenue (Louisiana 3021) southbound at Louisiana 39 (N. Claiborne Avenue). This intersection comprises the southern terminus of Louisiana 3021 and the eastern terminus of Louisiana 46. Louisiana 46 overtakes Elysian Fields Avenue for the next five blocks through to Saint Claude Avenue. From there the highway travels along the banks of the Mississippi River to Violet and Poydras. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Sandwiched between the Interstate 10 and 610 viaducts, is this underpass for Florida Avenue. Elysian Fields Avenue crosses over Florida Avenue, and nearby Agriculture Avenue, to avoid a CSX Railroad line in between. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Traffic in the left lane turns onto Interstate 610 west, while Elysian Fields Avenue proceeds northbound to the Edgewood and Gentilly neighborhoods of New Orleans. Photo taken 03/20/02.

Jackson Street

A lost highway in a sense, Jackson Street once carried U.S. 90 and Louisiana 2 from a ferry landing on the Mississippi River northward to Claiborne Avenue. The routing coincided with a ferry landing on the west bank of the river at Harvey, and was a part of the overall routing of U.S. 90 in Louisiana early on. When U.S. 90 was later relocated on its current path near Tulane University, Louisiana 23 took over the ferry and Jackson Street routing from Harvey northbound. Soon after the completion of the original Greater New Orleans Bridge, Louisiana 23 was relocated again to the east through Gretna and the West Bank portion of the city. Unfortunately what is left today is a dilapidated boulevard through economically repressed neighborhoods.

Like many other New Orleans main thoroughfares, Jackson Street is multi laned with a parkway like median. This photograph was taken northbound, not far from the beginning at Tchoupitoulas Street. The former ferry landing is now underneath the Mississippi River levy system. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Jackson Street is still regarded as a citywide main thoroughfare. The placement of this hurricane evacuation trailblazer is placed with regards to the streets importance for citywide traffic movements. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Street level traffic light on Jackson Street northbound. Note the tree scaping and highway lighting that aid in portraying a parkway like feel through the working class neighborhoods of south New Orleans. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Continuing northbound on Jackson Street. The appearance is a carbon copy of that in the above photobox. Photo taken 08/02/02.
A neglected traffic light assembly on Jackson Street northbound at Magazine Street. The traffic light for the east-west street has been bent out of alignment, and now faces Jackson Street (why the yellow lens is illuminated in conjunction with the red lens). Photo taken 08/02/02.
Another view of the misarranged traffic light giving an oxymoronic display. Beyond this intersection, Jackson Street continues northbound towards the hotel district along Saint Charles Street. Photo taken 08/02/02.

Saint Charles Avenue

One of many divided boulevards within the city of New Orleans, Saint Charles Street differs in that the median is lined with a streetcar line. The four lane thoroughfare links the hotel district south of the central business district with the French Quarter. The Saint Charles Streetcar line offers an alternative to car travel between the two destinations. The cars themselves are painted green, unlike the red cars of the Riverfront streetcar line.

Saint Charles Street, like other downtown area thoroughfares, is part of the Hurricane Evacuation route network. This photograph looks on eastbound, with the Saint Charles streetcar line within the median of the highway. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Continuing eastbound on Saint Charles Street. The street car line links the hotel district, of which this photograph is taken, with the French Quarter and central business district. It is frequented both by locals and tourists alike. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Typical street level traffic light. Located on Saint Charles Street eastbound at Felicity Street. A kink on the street network occurs with the turning of the Mississippi River (the street grid was originally laid based upon the curvature of the river). Photo taken 08/02/02.
Saint Charles Street features a hodgepodge of both residences, and commercial establishments. The architecture is also a hodgepodge of modern and late 19th century. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Four blocks from the Pontchartrain Expressway viaduct, is this intersection with Melomehe Street. Photo taken on Saint Charles Street eastbound. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Eastbound Saint Charles Street at the Business U.S. 90/Pontchartrain Expressway viaduct. An extensive rebuilding project took place in the early 1990s, seeing the original twin two lane viaducts demolished and replaced with the structures in this photograph. The uppermost viaduct is that of the reversible HOV-2 roadway for the Greater New Orleans Bridge. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Underneath the Pontchartrain Expressway viaduct, Saint Charles Street sees this intersection. In the background opens the Central Business District skyline. The monument ahead is adorned with a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Photo taken 08/02/02.
At this round-a-bout, the Saint Charles Streetcar line shifts to Carondelet Street, one block to the north. Meanwhile Saint Charles Street continues through downtown. The Confederate History and National D-Day Museums are situated nearby. Photo taken 08/02/02.

Scenes around the Vieux Carre

The scene along Chartres Street in the Vieux Carre. The red line on the no parking sign is a set of beads left over from Mardi Gras. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Toulouse Street intersects Decatur Street from the left in the eastbound scene. Decatur Street follows the riverfront area throughout most of the French Quarter, carry three lanes of traffic in both directions. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Alluring architecture adorns the buildings throughout the French Quarter. The Decatur/Toulouse Street intersection is no exception. Photograph looks to the north with the one way Toulouse Street coming to an end. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Looking back towards downtown at the same intersection from the above photograph on Decatur Street westbound. All traffic lights in the city of New Orleans are painted green, with ones in downtown supported by mast arms or posted at street level. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Decatur Street splits with Tchoupitoulas Street a block and a half to the southwest in this photograph. The Woldenberg Riverfront Park area is to the left. This park side area is fronted by shops and restaurants, including the New Orleans Hard Rock Cafe. In addition, boat cruises launch for Mississippi River tours with stops at the New Orleans Audubon Zoo. Photo taken 03/20/02.
Onto Woldenberg Riverfront Park where the view is stellar of the Mississippi River. Within sight distance are the Greater New Orleans Bridge (U.S. 90 Business), the Canal Street Dock, the New Orleans World Trade Center, the Aquarium of the Americas, and various ferry boats. Photo taken 08/02/02.
The man who's name bears Woldenberg Riverfront Park is Malcolm Woldenberg. This plaque is posted along one of the walkways within the park area, and gives a brief biography on the local pioneer. Photo taken 08/02/02.
Throughout the downtown area, various trolley lines are maintained between the central business district and the French Quarter tourist attractions. This photograph takes a look at the Riverfront Trolley Line as it passes through Woldenberg Riverfront Park to the west. Photo taken 03/20/02.
In this view, the sun is shrouded as the camera points west at the same Riverfront Trolley Line. In the background the high rises of downtown rise high above the city street grid, with shops and restaurants situated to the right. Photo taken 03/20/02.
A look at a typical Riverfront Trolley car, as it strolls through Woldenberg Riverfront Park. The other trolley lines have green cars, while the riverfront line cars are painted red. Photo taken 03/20/02.


  1. "Major Bridges of Louisiana." Preconstruction Pages (LADOTD), Volume 2,1.
  2. "Moses' New Orleans." Fred Robertson,
  3. Sketchler, Marc. Email: "Canal Street New Orleans name origin," August 19, 2007.
  4. Causeway Boulevard - Earhart Expressway Interchange. LADOTD, public hearing notice. July 8, 2015.

Thanks also goes to Andy P. Jung and Justin Priola for assistance with this guide.

Page Updated September 29, 2016.

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