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Author Topic: Western Louisiana  (Read 58898 times)

US71

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2015, 11:08:38 PM »

Is there anything roads-worthy or tourist-unique between the I-10 and I-20 corridors, besides simply driving I-49? I've looked at Natchitoches and Alexandria and come up empty.

Dirt section of old, old 71 east of Melville (ferry is closed, though)
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2015, 11:42:52 PM »

Great River Road is definitely touristy, if that's not too far east.
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2015, 11:48:01 PM »

In terms of roads, the O.K. Allen (old) and Fort Buhlow (new) US 71/165bridges over the Red River, and the traffic circle in Alexandria. Nothing too extraordinary.
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #78 on: January 29, 2015, 06:36:41 AM »

In terms of roads, the O.K. Allen (old) and Fort Buhlow (new) US 71/165bridges over the Red River, and the traffic circle in Alexandria. Nothing too extraordinary.

The new bridge is right beside the old bridge.  I went over the old bridge in October (with my 15 year-old son driving  :-o ) and it was still fun to drive.  Big trucks are forbidden on this bridge due to being so narrow.  The new bridge is close to being completed.

If you like old eating establishments that serve plate lunches and homemade pies (and who doesn't??  :sombrero:), stop in at Lea's Lunchroom in LeCompte (south of Alexandria).  It is in between the north and southbound lanes of US 71/167 (which I declare the least driven 4 -lane divided highway ever due to the existence of I-49).

https://www.google.com/maps/@31.0884293,-92.3960841,17z

If you like old downtown areas with cobblestone streets, you need to see Natchitoches.  The LA 1 and LA 6 business routes meet here, and depending on if you come in on the weekend, you could encounter live music being played on the bank of the  Cane River Lake.
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jbnv

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2015, 12:20:14 PM »

If you've got the time and you're going from Shreveport to Baton Rouge (or vice versa), skip I-49 and take LA 1. If you are a bonafide road/travel geek you have to pass through Natchitoches at least once. Stop at Lasyone's restaurant and ask for a meat pie. Watch the cotton fields give way to sugarcane as you make your way south. And drive over the Morganza Spillway.
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mcdonaat

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #80 on: January 30, 2015, 04:49:12 PM »

Is there anything roads-worthy or tourist-unique between the I-10 and I-20 corridors, besides simply driving I-49? I've looked at Natchitoches and Alexandria and come up empty.
From personal experience, take US 71 into Clarence, east at Grayson's BBQ (any day but Monday), and then LA 6 to LA 1 Business through the downtown to Front Street. You can go antique shopping, and then take LA 494 along the Cane River and see some old plantations along with riding the original Jefferson Highway for a portion. DO NOT TAKE LA 1220 TO THE RIVER, since you will get stuck along the dirt road, even with some beautiful sections that are lined with oaks and pecan trees.

You can come into Boyce and Alexandria on LA 1, and take US 71 through Lecompte to Lea's and Bunkie (the last stop before Krotz Springs or Opelousas). Between Bunkie and Baton Rouge or Lafayette, there's nothing to see at all... other than Dr Pepper with cane sugar (the only instance in the state of it being Pepsi-owned) and Mr Pibb.

As far as road-related stuff, you have the Jefferson Highway along US 171 to LA 6 to US 71, along with many abandoned bridges, and Alexandria is home to a 1940's-vintage bypass, with a traffic circle and frontage roads that still exist from around the time of World War II. A modern four-lane highway, with frontage roads, that have culverts dated 1942. It's also the only part of the state which will give you every major metro city on a guide sign (Shreveport, Lafayette, Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles). Natchitoches has the only cutout outline still on a guide sign for a Louisiana route, other than in Shreveport. It's a boring ride for the most part, though.

Just my $2. I would personally take I-20 to US 165 in Monroe, then take LA 15 between Monroe and Archibald and cross the 1939 Boeuf River Bridge on a beautiful ride from swamps to cotton fields to forested hills. Take US 425 from Archibald to Peck and turn on LA 913 to see a spring where you can still get water from the side of the hill. Then head back east to US 425 in Sicily Island, and take it through Ferriday and Natchez (each home of a KFC all you can eat buffet) and take US 61 south to Baton Rouge and I-10.

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #81 on: February 01, 2015, 08:28:16 PM »

It's also the only part of the state which will give you every major metro city on a guide sign (Shreveport, Lafayette, Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles).

Where in Alexandria can you find New Orleans on a guide sign??

Ferriday and Natchez (each home of a KFC all you can eat buffet)

KFC buffets are quite common. If giving portion control the middle finger is your thing, you have to hit the Popeye's buffet in Lafayette, on Pinhook Road at S. College in the Oil Center. (I'm also quite fond of the seafood buffet at Lagneaux's on Ridge Rd.)
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bassoon1986

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #82 on: February 01, 2015, 08:59:54 PM »

I can't link from my phone, but there's a small guide sign just south of the traffic circle in Alexandria on US 71 for Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
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mcdonaat

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #83 on: February 02, 2015, 12:17:27 AM »

It's also the only part of the state which will give you every major metro city on a guide sign (Shreveport, Lafayette, Monroe, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lake Charles).

Where in Alexandria can you find New Orleans on a guide sign??

Ferriday and Natchez (each home of a KFC all you can eat buffet)

KFC buffets are quite common. If giving portion control the middle finger is your thing, you have to hit the Popeye's buffet in Lafayette, on Pinhook Road at S. College in the Oil Center. (I'm also quite fond of the seafood buffet at Lagneaux's on Ridge Rd.)
Head south on US 71 from the traffic circle, and you will see a sign that says Baton Rouge XX, New Orleans XX. It's slight, but it exists. It isn't a guide sign, but it's right after a guide sign. That counts for something, right?

Forgot to mention that you can also reach Texas and Mississippi in less than an hour and a half, so if you bail out, it's the most fair place to do it.

cjk374

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #84 on: February 02, 2015, 10:52:49 PM »

I can't link from my phone, but there's a small guide sign just south of the traffic circle in Alexandria on US 71 for Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Here ya go Bassoon & jbnv:  https://www.google.com/maps/@31.271897,-92.463985,3a,37.5y,145.97h,80.01t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s3s22FhhO9pNLDT1EZaymTQ!2e0

I believe this is an older view because the current sign is much smaller with a much uglier font.
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jbnv

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #85 on: February 04, 2015, 09:41:18 PM »

I can't link from my phone, but there's a small guide sign just south of the traffic circle in Alexandria on US 71 for Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

Here ya go Bassoon & jbnv:  https://www.google.com/maps/@31.271897,-92.463985,3a,37.5y,145.97h,80.01t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s3s22FhhO9pNLDT1EZaymTQ!2e0

I believe this is an older view because the current sign is much smaller with a much uglier font.

I was thinking of BGSs so I didn't consider that sign, which I have seen in person. Harkens back to the pre-I-49 days when so many cross-state trips would take you through the South Traffic Circle.(1) Going through the South Traffic Circle makes you feel like you can get anywhere in the state, too.

Ironically, now if you take I-49 to cross the state, you get Shreveport and Opelousas. Progress.

(1)  Yes, there was a North Traffic Circle, at the junction of US 71-165 and LA 1, removed and replaced with a stack interchange in the 1990s.
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cjk374

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2015, 10:21:32 PM »

(1)  Yes, there was a North Traffic Circle, at the junction of US 71-165 and LA 1, removed and replaced with a stack interchange in the 1990s.

I actually remember that traffic circle before I-49 was built through Alexandria.  My question is...because I only remember these traffic circles as a very young child...was there ever a 3rd traffic circle?
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NE2

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2015, 10:37:07 PM »

I actually remember that traffic circle before I-49 was built through Alexandria.  My question is...because I only remember these traffic circles as a very young child...was there ever a 3rd traffic circle?
Not on the 1958 topo. Interestingly, the north circle was a lot smaller (though a larger square was cleared around it), and was initially a three-way intersection before the bypass was added to the southwest.

PS: the north circle is now a folded diamond, not a stack.
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #88 on: March 18, 2015, 09:38:26 AM »

Here is an update on the O.K. Allen Bridge replacement project in Alexandria.

The old bridge was closed yesterday, and traffic has been rerouted to the new northbound structure.  Preliminary demolition of the old bridge will begin soon.
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US71

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #89 on: March 18, 2015, 09:55:51 AM »

Here is an update on the O.K. Allen Bridge replacement project in Alexandria.

The old bridge was closed yesterday, and traffic has been rerouted to the new northbound structure.  Preliminary demolition of the old bridge will begin soon.

Bummer :(
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cjk374

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #90 on: March 19, 2015, 06:21:01 AM »

Here is an update on the O.K. Allen Bridge replacement project in Alexandria.

The old bridge was closed yesterday, and traffic has been rerouted to the new northbound structure.  Preliminary demolition of the old bridge will begin soon.

Bummer :(

I'll mark that off of the list of things to see for the LA road meet next year.   :no: :banghead:
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US71

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #91 on: March 19, 2015, 10:25:18 AM »

Here is an update on the O.K. Allen Bridge replacement project in Alexandria.

The old bridge was closed yesterday, and traffic has been rerouted to the new northbound structure.  Preliminary demolition of the old bridge will begin soon.

Bummer :(

I'll mark that off of the list of things to see for the LA road meet next year.   :no: :banghead:

There was also a concrete RR bridge just up the road, which is also being replaced. :(
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cenlaroads

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #92 on: March 26, 2015, 09:41:41 AM »

The 'Current Construction' webpage for LA DOTD is finally back online.  At least for now.
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cjk374

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #93 on: March 26, 2015, 08:11:58 PM »

I find it interesting that 2 projects in Union Parish are listed as US 63 instead of US 167.  :pan:
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cjk374

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #94 on: April 13, 2015, 06:50:47 AM »

I am not a fan of round abouts, but apparently LaDOTD is becoming a fan of them.  Here is an announcement about an upcoming project: http://wwwapps.dotd.la.gov/administration/public_info/projects/home.aspx?key=26

I would love to have the toys they are using to build the scale model of their ideas (look at the bottom images).  :nod: :clap:
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #95 on: April 14, 2015, 02:00:53 PM »

I remember the Alexandria traffic circles from trips to N. Louisiana as a kid. I haven't been thru there in 20 yrs. I bet.
I also faintly remember a traffic circle here in BR. Florida & Airline Hwy.
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jbnv

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #96 on: April 17, 2015, 07:34:15 PM »

I also faintly remember a traffic circle here in BR. Florida & Airline Hwy.

Memory, be refreshed. Given how ugly the current interchange is, compared to the Alexandria traffic circle, I'm almost tempted to suggest they should have left it that way.

(Speaking of the Alexandria traffic circle: I got to take my wife and stepson on their first trips through the circle this past week. I feel my Louisiana highway pride abounding. :D )
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cjk374

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bassoon1986

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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #98 on: April 21, 2015, 03:44:46 PM »

So apparently US 371 has a new alignment near it's southern terminus at I-49. I had not seen anything in the news, but it looks like US 371 breaks away from LA 177 to meet US 84 and LA 1 at the Red Riover bridge crossing. This makes a lot more sense and makes it a lot easier to cross the river into Coushatta from the interstate.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0012552,-93.4015931,13z
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Re: Western Louisiana
« Reply #99 on: April 27, 2015, 03:45:39 PM »

So apparently US 371 has a new alignment near it's southern terminus at I-49. I had not seen anything in the news, but it looks like US 371 breaks away from LA 177 to meet US 84 and LA 1 at the Red Riover bridge crossing. This makes a lot more sense and makes it a lot easier to cross the river into Coushatta from the interstate.

https://www.google.com/maps/@32.0012552,-93.4015931,13z
I see that on Google Maps, but went thru the US 371/LA 1 interchange for the first time in January, so nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It seemed like US 371 was still signed to LA 177, and there are no projects listed to realign the highway. Maybe the parish is upgrading the highway so that they can obtain LA 177 (although that would be very weird), but no record of a realignment is on LA DOTD's website.

 


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