Interstate 310 Louisiana
Interstate 310 is a mostly elevated freeway linking U.S. 90 at the unincorporated community of Boutte with I-10 and the New Orleans metropolitan area at Kenner. I-310 spans the Mississippi River between the St. Charles Parish communities of Luling and Destrehan across the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge.
North End – Kenner, LA
South End – Boutte, LA
Mileage – 11.25
Cities – Kenner, New Orleans
- Junctions –
Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List
I-310 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
Vieux Carre Expressway
A study in 1969 outlined an outer belt freeway system in New Orleans between the Earhart and View Carre Expressways. It included adding a new uptown Mississippi River crossing via Earhart Boulevard at Napoleon Avenue. Interstate 310 was considered as a possible designation for both expressways.
The Earhart Expressway was proposed to run east from Louisiana 49 (Williams Boulevard) near New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to the Pontchartrain Expressway along Earhart Boulevard. The Vieux Carre or Riverfront Expressway would have extended east through Downtown New Orleans to an elevated highway passing through the French Quarter along the Mississippi Riverfront.
Origins of the Vieux Carre Expressway dated back to November 1946 when New York transportation pioneer Robert Moses unveiled his “Arterial Plan for New Orleans”. This freeway would begin at Interstate 10, follow Elysian Fields Avenue (Louisiana 3021), then head southwest between the Mississippi River and Jackson Square to the Pontchartrain Expressway (U.S. 90 Business) at Downtown.1
The Vieux Carre Expressway was the most controversial aspect of the Moses arterial plan. However, criticism of the idea did not emerge until October 1964 when $25 million in funds were allocated for construction of the 3.5-mile long freeway. Prior to this time, work was already underway along a 690-foot long, 98-foot wide, six-lane tunnel. Subterranean work 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. Opposition finally won out in July 1969.2,3
Following the cancellation of the Riverfront Expressway proposal, the Earhart Expressway was rescinded westward to the Jefferson Parish line. The limited access highway within Jefferson Parish was eventually constructed. However it was only partially constructed, as an interchange between the expressway and Causeway Boulevard was omitted and the western extension to Williams Boulevard was never built. Louisiana 3139 overlays the Earhart Expressway / Boulevard east from Louisiana 3154 (Dickory Drive) to Monroe Street in New Orleans.
St. Charles Parish
Along with Interstate 510, I-310 in St. Charles Parish was included in a plan for a greater outer belt freeway around the New Orleans metropolitan area. Numbered Interstate 410, this highway was deferred and subsequently canceled. However it reemerged in the “Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Update” issued in 2003 under an Interstate 510 project that would expand the Chalmette Bridge (LSTP-029). Connecting the I-310 and I-510 freeway spurs was considered by LADOTD as a possible solution to perennially clogged Interstate 10 between the airport and Downtown.
Costing $297.1-million, work on the freeway between Boutte and I-10 by the Jefferson Parish line broke ground in 1976. AASHTO approved this route as Interstate 310 on July 6, 1977.
Also known as the Luling-Destrehan Bridge, the $124.2-million Hale Boggs bridge across the Mississippi River opened in 1983. Succeeding construction completed in 1988 added four miles of freeway between Luling and U.S. 90 at Boutte. The subsequent project extended the freeway northeast nearly four miles to U.S. 61 (Airline Highway) at a cost of $64.6-million. This section opened to traffic following a ribbon cutting ceremony on July 24, 1991.4
The final 2.25-mile stretch, between Airline Highway and Interstate 10, was completed on May 7, 1993.5 Temporary guide signs were posted along I-310 until the road fully opened to traffic between U.S. 90 and Interstate 10. A $1.5-million project between February and October 1993 replaced the small ground level signs with aluminum truss overhead sign bridge asssemblies.6
North End – Kenner, Louisiana
Interstate 310 angles southwest from Exit 220 to connect I-10 with U.S. 90 for points southwest including Houma, Morgan City, and Raceland. The freeway spans the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling while also serving St. Charles Parish and communities such as Saint Rose and Boutte. 05/09/15
South End – Boutte, Louisiana
- “Moses’ New Orleans.” Fred Robertson,
http://www.robertsongovernor.org/moses.htm. this web site examined the impact of that report and the freeway plans on New Orleans.
- Tom Lewis, Divided Highways New York: Viking, 1997.
- ViewKeeper.Org: The Near Demise of the French Quarter.
http://www.viewkeeper.org/artmap_i310.htmlincluded maps, diagrams, and photos showing the proposed route of the Vieux Carre Expressway from the 1950s and chronicled in the book, The Second Battle of New Orleans, most of which took place in the 1960s.
- “Scissors Snip Opens I-310 Pathway for St. Charles.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), July 24, 1991.
- “Last Link of I-310 Completed.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), May 8, 1993.
- “Sign Project for Interstate is Under Way.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), October 28, 1993.
- “I-310, St. Charles Parish, S.P. No. H.013599.” Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LADOTD) Announcements, February 21, 2020.
Page updated May 6, 2020.