Interstate 610 Louisiana

Interstate 610 provides a bypass of the Interstate 10 dog leg through downtown New Orleans as the through route for long distance travelers.

Routing

Interstate 610 bypasses downtown New Orleans as the default through route for crosstown traffic. The freeway carries six overall lanes as it travels by City Park, the Fairgrounds, and the Gentilly neighborhood. The freeway carries a 60 mile per hour speed limit, but not everyone obeys it.

A $26.9-million project expanded the Interstate 10 and 610 western interchange on June 10, 2000. With plans originating in the 1970s, work commenced in January 1998 on widening of I-10 east to three lanes through the split with I-610, and four lanes from the West End Boulevard southward to downtown.1

History

Interstate 610 was constructed between I-10 and Canal Boulevard along with the Pontchartrain Expressway (I-10 from the 17th Street Canal southeast to Downtown New Orleans) in the early 1960s. Work on the freeway east from Canal Boulevard to Interstate 10 at Franklin Avenue followed between 1972 and 1975. Work was delayed because of a lawsuit involving construction of the highway through public parkland.2

Highway Guides

Western Terminus - Interstate 10 - western New Orleans near Metairie
Perspective from Interstate 610 west
The penultimate exit of Interstate 610 west is Exit 1A, Canal Boulevard. The freeway continues to a three-quarter cloverleaf interchange (Exit 1B) with Pontchartrain and West End Boulevards before defaulting onto I-10 west. Photo taken by Steve Hanudel (08/15/05).
Exit 1B loops onto Pontchartrain Boulevard southbound ahead of its merge with Interstate 10 east to Downtown Photo taken 04/20/12.
Interstate 610 west passes under West End and Pontchartrain Boulevards ahead of the merge with Interstate 10 at the 17th Street Canal. Interstate 10 continues into Metairie, next meeting Bonnabel and Causeway Boulevards. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Perspective from Interstate 10 east
The first guide sign for Interstate 610 appears at the departure of the Exit 228 collector/distributor roadway for Causeway and Bonnabel Boulevards. A $100-million project upgraded the congested cloverleaf interchange between I-10 and Causeway Boulevard between April 2009 and summer 2012. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Passing over Bonnabel Boulevard, Interstate 10 carries ten overall lanes between Causeway Boulevard and the 17th Street Canal. Widening of this stretch of freeway was completed in 2009 to better handle traffic between Interstate 610 and Metairie. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Interstate 10 sees three Interstate termini in the course of 30 miles, all spaced by ten miles: Interstate 55 at Exit 210, Interstate 310 at Exit 220, and Interstate 610 at Exit 230. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Interstate 610 continues due east from Exit 230 to Lakeview and City Park as Interstate 10 turns southeasterly along Pontchartrain Expressway to the Central Business District and the Crescent City Connection bridge to the Westbank. Photo taken 04/20/12.
More photos from this perspective at the Interstate 10 East - New Orleans vicinity highway guide.
Eastern Terminus - Interstate 10 - eastern New Orleans
Perspective from Interstate 610 east
Although not yet through with its mainline exits, Interstate 610 reassurance signage reverts to Interstate 10 by Elysian Fields Avenue (Exit 3). Elysian Fields Avenue doubles as Louisiana 3121 between U.S. 90 and Claiborne Avenue (Louisiana 39), providing a route between the French Quarter and Pontchartrain Beach. Photo taken 04/20/12.
The final mainline exit of Interstate 610 drops from the viaduct to Franklin Avenue. This surface street is also accessible from Interstate 10 westbound Exit 238A. According to the LADOTD geographic features file, the official mileage of Interstate 610 ends at Franklin Avenue. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Perspective from Interstate 10 west
Interstate 10 west, 0.75 miles out from the wye interchange (Exit 238B) with Interstate 610. The freeway ascends onto a viaduct ahead of the Franklin Avenue off-ramp (Exit 238A). Photo taken 04/20/12.
A half-diamond interchange (Exit 238A) joins Interstate 10 west with Franklin Avenue ahead of the split with Interstate 610 west. Ramps connect Franklin Avenue with I-610 west and from I-610 east as well. Photo taken 04/20/12.
Interstate 10 continues southwest to downtown New Orleans as Interstate 610 beelines westward to City Park, Lakeview and Metairie. Baton Rouge is used as the control for long distance through travelers to Interstate 10 west. Photo taken 04/20/12.

Sources:

  1. "I-10 ROADWORK POPS THE CORK ON BOTTLENECK - $27 MILLION PROJECT BUYS TIME FOR DRIVERS." The Times-Picayune, June 13, 2000.
  2. Interstate 610 (Louisiana) @ Wikipedia.org.

Page Updated September 19, 2012.

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