Work to upgrade Paris Road (LA 47) to Interstate 510 commenced in 1985. The 2.7-mile project cost $82-million project and was constructed in several phases. The northbound lanes of the freeway were completed in October 1992. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place ahead of the southbound lane opening on November 13, 1992.2
Planning for Interstate 510 began in 1970 as a replacement for the congested two-lane Paris Road. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the future Interstate on July 6, 1977. Environmentalist protests however delayed work, with the environmental impact statement (EIS) not completed until 1981. Initial 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 a four lane frontage road and new roadway linking I-510 with Almonaster Road.3
Extensions of Dwyer Road and Lake Forest Boulevard coincided with construction of the freeway mainline during the penultimate 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 work in tandem with the Florida Avenue freeway project to better join St. Bernard Parish with New Orleans.3
Cancelled Interstate 410
I-510 and I-310 in St. Charles Parish were previously incorporated into the proposed Interstate 410 outer belt for the New Orleans metropolitan area. This alignment appeared on official Louisiana state maps in the mid-1960s. The plan for I-410 was deferred and eventually reemerged as a megaproject included in the Louisiana Statewide Transportation Plan Update under the same project that would expand the Chalmette Bridge (LSTP-029).1
The outer belt connection was envisioned along with proposed freeways along Florida Avenue northeast of Downtown New Orleans and the LA 3139 / Earhart Expressway Extension west to the New Orleans International Airport (MSY). The Florida Avenue freeway would have connected to I-10 and I-610 where they converge to the east and continue to Interstate 510. Providing a third freeway connection to the west in New Orleans, the extension of I-510 followed a portion of the previous I-410 proposal. Despite the inclusion in the Statewide Transportation Plan Update,1 plans for this freeway did not advance.