Interstate 510 Louisiana

Interstate 510 provides a high speed route to St. Bernard Parish from Interstate 10 in conjunction with Louisiana 47 (Paris Road).

Routing

Interstate 510, cosigned with Louisiana 47 throughout, is a short freeway linking Interstate 10 with Chalmette and St. Bernard Parish. The three-mile route serves areas of New Orleans East, the Almonaster-Michoud Industrial District and NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility.

Future Aspirations

Since the Chalmette Bridge is not Interstate standard, it is only part of Louisiana 47 and not Interstate 510. The bridge was planned for expansion due to traffic demand, and the bridge widening was listed as a future megaproject in the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Update under Item LSTP-029 http://www2.dotd.louisiana.gov/study/.

Interstate 510 (along with Interstate 310 in the west) once was planned as part of a greater Interstate 410 outer belt for the New Orleans metropolitan area. A map of proposed Interstate 410 appeared in the official Louisiana state maps from the mid-1960s. The Interstate 410 plan was deferred (if not outright canceled), but it has recently reemerged as a megaproject included in the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Update under the same project that would expand the Chalmette Bridge (LSTP-029). Proposals to link Interstate 510 with I-310 west of the city emerged at various intervals over the past several decades; as a result of this report, the connection was again considered by the Louisiana DOT as a possible solution to perennially clogged Interstate 10 between the airport and Downtown. The connection was listed as part of Interstate 510, not Interstate 310.

Such a connection would be in addition to proposed freeways along Florida Avenue northeast of Downtown New Orleans and the Louisiana 3139 / Earhart Expressway Extension west to the airport. This extension of Interstate 510 would resurrect the old Interstate 410 proposal and provide a third freeway connection. It was not clear how this new freeway would connect to the I-49 corridor; more than likely, I-510 would end at Business U.S. 90, while I-49 would continue west to meet Interstate 310. Despite the inclusion in the Statewide Transportation Plan Update, plans for this freeway did not advance.

The proposed Florida Avenue freeway would connect to Interstates 10 and 610 near their eastern meeting and continue east to Interstate 510.

History

Work to upgrade Paris Road (Louisiana 47) to Interstate 510 commenced in 1985. The 2.7-mile project cost $82-million project and was constructed in several phases. Northbound lanes of the freeway opened in October 1992. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place ahead of the southbound lane opening on November 13, 1992.1

Planning for Interstate 510 began in 1970 as a replacement for the congested two-lane Paris Road. AASHTO approved the future Interstate on July 6, 1977. Environmentalist protests however delayed work, with the environmental impact statement (EIS) not completed until 1981. The first aspect of work focused on widening of the northern approach of the Paris Road bridge. Next a four-lane surface road between the bridge and I-10 was built so that crews could dismantle existing Paris Road and commence construction on the new freeway. Work also focused on building of a four-lane frontage road and new roadway linking I-510 with Almonaster Road.2

Extensions of Dwyer Road and Lake Forest Boulevard coincided with construction of the freeway mainline as the second to last phase of road work. This led to completion of Interstate 510 between Dwyer and Almonaster Roads and the construction of the U.S. 90 (Chef Menteur Highway) interchange. It was hoped that I-510 would spur work on the Florida Avenue freeway project to better join St. Bernard Parish with New Orleans.2

Highway Guides

Southern Terminus - Approach to Intracoastal Waterway Bridge - Chalmette, Louisiana
Perspective from Interstate 510 south
Interstate 510 concludes at the Exit 2C diamond interchange to Almonaster Boulevard. Louisiana 47 (Paris Road) continues southward over the Intracoastal Waterway into Saint Bernard Parish, ending in six miles at Chalmette. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Perspective from Louisiana 47 north
Guide signs for Exit 2C of Interstate 510 north first appear along Louisiana 47 (Paris Road) north ahead of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge. Photo taken 06/09/10.
Northbound Louisiana 47 begins the ascent over the Intracoastal Waterway to Interstate 510. Exit 2C is still 1.50 miles from this point. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/15/05).
This is the one-mile advance sign for Exit 2C on northbound Louisiana 47. The crest of the Intracoastal Waterway bridge, which is not part of Interstate 510, looms ahead. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/15/05).
The Intracoastal Waterway bridge is not built to Interstate standards, indicative with the lack of shoulders. The steel arch bridge opened in 1967. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/15/05).
Descending toward Exit 2C with Almonaster Boulevard and the northbound beginning of Interstate 510. Almonaster Boulevard connects the freeway with Old Gentilly Road east to NASA Michoud Assembly Facility and west to the New Orleans Business & Industrial District. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Interstate 510 begins at the base of the bridge and is acknowledged for the first time on the pull through panel at Exit 2C. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/15/05).
Northern Terminus - Interstate 10 - New Orleans, Louisiana
Perspective from Interstate 510 north
Interstate 510 & Louisiana 47 continue one mile north from the Lake Forest Boulevard diamond interchange (Exit 1B) to meet Interstate 10 at Exit 1A. Photo taken 04/20/12.
A viaduct carries Interstate 510 & Louisiana 47 north between Lake Forest Boulevard and Interstate 10. A third northbound lane travels between Exits 1B and 1A. Photo taken 04/20/12.
The control cities of Exit 1A are Slidell - 18 miles to the east, and New Orleans, whose downtown is 15 miles to the west. Photo taken 04/20/12.
All traffic movements to Interstate 10 depart in unison at Exit 1A. Louisiana 47 resumes northward along Paris Road to Hayne Boulevard west at Little Woods, New Orleans. Photo taken 04/20/12.
A stack interchange facilitates the movements at the northern terminus of Interstate 510. Traffic turning westward utilizes the highest flyover of the junction. Interstate 10 eastbound travelers encounter one more New Orleans exit before the highway enters Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge. Photo taken by Jeff Royston (05/27/00).
Perspective from Louisiana 47 south
Louisiana 47 (Paris Road) becomes Interstate 510 south at the unnumbered off-ramp to Interstate 10 west. Paris Road leads south from Hayne Boulevard at Little Woods to Chalmette, but was replaced by I-510 between I-10 and the Intracoastal Waterway bridge. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Exit 1A loops onto Interstate 10 east to Slidell. Interstate 510 & Louisiana 47 pass by the former Six Flags New Orleans theme park to Lake Forest Boulevard. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Perspective from Interstate 10 west
Interstate 10 west passes under Michoud Boulevard and sees the first guide sign for Interstate 510 south & Louisiana 47 (Exits 246A/B). Photo taken 04/20/12.
Traffic from Michoud Boulevard merges onto Interstate 10 west, 0.75 miles out from the directional-cloverleaf interchange with Interstate 510 south & Louisiana 47. Photo taken 04/20/12.
One half mile out from the Exit 246 off-ramp to Interstate 510 south for Michoud and Chalmette and Louisiana 47 north to Little Woods. Photo taken 04/20/12.
A single lane off-ramp carries all traffic to Interstate 510 south & Louisiana 47 at Exit 246. A flyover shuttles drivers southbound toward the Intracoastal Waterway bridge to St. Bernard Parish. Originally the Paris Road interchange with LA-47 was a simple diamond. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Continuing to the Exit 246 ramp split from I-10 west. NASA appears on the I-510 southbound overhead for the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility located east of Exit 2C. Photo taken 06/09/10.
Perspective from Interstate 10 east
Interstate 510 south & Louisiana 47 join Interstate 10 east with Little Woods, New Orleans and the St. Bernard Parish seat of Chalmette from Exits 246A/B in three quarters of a mile. Photo taken 04/20/12.
One quarter mile west of the Interstate 510 northern terminus. Interstate 10 maintains six lanes throughout New Orleans and through to junction Interstates 12 and 59 at Slidell. The speed limit is posted at 60 mph throughout the city limits of New Orleans. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Unlike the westbound direction, traffic to Interstate 510 & Louisiana 47 south utilizes an independent ramp (Exit 246A) from that of Louisiana 47 north (Exit 246B). Traffic to LA-47 (Paris Road) north to Little Woods departs via a loop ramp in one-quarter mile. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Historical Perspective from Interstate 10 east
The first advance sign for Interstate 510 south & Louisiana 47, posted 0.75 miles out from Exit 246, was blown down by the winds of Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. This sign replaced an older set of overheads that included a Interstate 10 pull-through panel. Photo taken by Chris Patriarca (05/18/03).

Sources:

  1. "Edwards to Open I-510 Link." The Times-Picayune, November 14, 1992.
  2. "I-510 Link is Nearly Complete After 7 Years of Construction." The Times-Picayune, October 13, 1992.

Page Updated September 19, 2012.