Interstate 55

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Interstate 55 links the greater New Orleans area with Hammond and Jackson, Mississippi along a north-south route between I-10 at Laplace and the Mississippi state line near Kentwood. The southern 23 miles of the freeway elevate over canals and bayous between Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain.

I-55/US 51 - Pass Manchac, LA

Interstate 55/U.S. 51 and Old U.S. 51 (Frontage Road) parallel one another across Pass Manchac. This view looks south at the 1957-bridge for Old U.S. 51 and the adjacent 1977 bridges for I-55. Photo taken May 9, 2015.

The first segment of Interstate 55 to open in Louisiana was the U.S. 51 bypass of Ponchatoula (Exits 23 to 28) in 1960. The second stretch of freeway opened between Arcola and the Mississippi state line. Construction between those two segments continued until late 1968. Elevated portions of I-55, south of Ponchatoula, opened first in 1960 with just two lanes for U.S. 51 and by 1977 with four overall lanes as I-55.

Interstate 55 Louisiana Guides

Interstate 55 scenes
This gunshot riddled assembly directed traffic back toward LaPlace from Rudduck. All signs at this diamond interchange were replaced by 2008. Photo taken 11/06/99.
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A short access road links Old U.S. 51 with the adjacent Interstate 55/U.S. 51 viaducts near Ruddock. Photos taken 05/09/15.
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3 photos
3 photos
Replaced by 2008, this shield assembly directed travelers to the northbound entrance ramp for I-55 from the west end of the access road. This movement would only be used for traffic turning around from I-55 south back to Ponchatoula. Photo taken 06/26/01. Second photo taken 06/26/01. Third photo taken 11/20/08.
Old U.S. 51 is simply signed as "Frontage Road" from the access road at Exit 15. The interchange serves the nearby Port Manchac Distribution Center at North Pass. Photo taken 11/20/08.
Shields and guide sign assembly posted at the northbound entrance ramp for I-55/U.S. 51 from Manchac. The freeway continues eight miles to U.S. 51 Business on the south side of Ponchatoula. Photo taken 11/20/08.
An overhead directs traffic to the southbound on-ramp to Ruddock, LaPlace and Interstate 10 east to New Orleans. Photo taken 10/20/08.
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2 photos
A vintage shield for I-55 was posted at the on-ramp from Manchac. Interstate 55/U.S. 51 immediately rise to span Pass Manchac from this exchange. Photos taken 06/26/01.
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3 photos
3 photos
Driving by the Exit 53 interchange along northbound, we noticed a construction crew erecting new signs on Interstate 55 southbound. Until 2003, many of the signs south of Tangipahoa included older standard guide signs retaining outline Louisiana shields. Including Exit 53, all signs northward on this day were new retroreflective signs perhaps installed by this crew. Exit 53 consists of a diamond interchange with Louisiana 10, one mile west of Fluker. Photos taken 10/23/03.

Sources:

History of I-55 based upon Louisiana official state highway maps, Gousha Louisiana maps and NationalBridges.



Photo Credits:

11/06/99, 06/26/01, 10/23/03, 10/20/08, 11/20/08, 05/09/15 by AARoads

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Page Updated 09-24-2012.