Highway 23

Home » Guides » Louisiana » Highway 23

Louisiana Highway 23 extends 71.78 miles southeast from Gretna to Venice in the Mississippi River Delta. Straddling the west banks of the Mississippi River, LA 23 travels through Boothville, Buras, Empire and Port Sulphur. Expanding to four lanes at Diamond, LA 23 continues along the river north to the census designated place of Belle Chase and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NAS JRB) New Orleans.

Turning away from the Mississippi, LA 23 angles northwest to cross the Intracoastal Waterway on a lift bridge northbound and through the Belle Chase Tunnel southbound. Following Belle Chase Highway, LA 23 heads to the census designated place of Timberlane and into the city of Gretna. Shifting onto Lafayette Street, LA 23 concludes north at a diamond interchange with U.S. 90 Business (West Bank Expressway) across from LA 18.

Approved in 2017, a Public-Private Partnership (P3) project replaces both the Judge Perez Bridge and Belle Chase Tunnel across the Intracoastal Waterway. The $169 million project constructs a fixed high rise span and demolishes the existing crossings. The project broke ground virtually on April 12, 2021.1

The new four lane bridge is being constructed between the lift bridge built in 1968 and tunnel completed in 1956.2 Expected to fully open in early 2024, the span accommodates four 12 foot wide travel lanes, partial shoulders and a multi use path. Tolls will be levied on the crossing to pay the project. Demolition work on the old span and tunnel is estimated for completion in 2025.1

Prior to the completion of the Greater New Orleans Bridge (U.S. 90 Business), LA 23 continued north to cross the Mississippi River on the Jackson Avenue Ferry linking Gretna and New Orleans. LA 23 followed Jackson Avenue north along the Lower Garden District and through the Central City Historic District to U.S. 90 (S Claiborne Avenue). Jackson Avenue south and the ferry to Gretna were both historically part of Louisiana Highway 2. The remainder of the highway south of Harvey was designated as LA 31. The Pelican State renumbered its highway system around 1957-58.

Louisiana Highway 23 South
LA 23 (Lafayette Street) leading south from the Westbank Expressway frontage roads and LA 18. 11/19/08
The first confirming marker for LA 23 south stands beyond 15th Street along Lafayette Street in Gretna. 11/19/08
LA 23 transitions onto Belle Chase Highway south from Lafayette Street at 20th Street. The succeeding traffic light is at Gretna Boulevard. 11/19/08
Following the Gretna city line, Timberlane Drive north ties into LA 23 across from Wright Avenue. 11/19/08
Bellemeade Boulevard stems south into residential areas within the census designated place of Timberlane. 11/19/08
Terry Parkway leads south from Terrytown to intersect LA 23 across from Wall Boulevard north. 11/19/08
LA 428 (Behrman Highway) extends north from LaPalco Boulevard into the Algiers section of New Orleans. Lapalco Boulevard is an arterial route running 11.26 miles west to U.S. 90 near Avondale. 11/19/08
Lapalco Boulevard, which stands for LouisianA Power And Light COmpany, was constructed along LP&L right of way and derives its name from the utility company. Further more a local urban legend references the non-existent Count LaPalco, who owned a plantation in the area. In realty, the land was worthless swampland prior to 1960.3 11/19/08
Confirming marker formerly posted along Belle Chase Highway south of LA 428 at Cottonwood Drive. 11/19/08
SR 23 (Belle Chase Highway) advances southeast from LA 428 and Lapalco Boulevard into Plaquemines Parish. 11/19/08
LA 3017 (Engineers Road) branches south from LA 23 along an industrial area in Belle Chase straddling the Intracoastal Waterway. 11/19/08
Comprising a 9.12 mile long loop, LA 3017 heads northwest from Belle Chase along Peters Road and Harvey Canal Number 1 to LA 18 (4th Street) in Harvey. 11/19/08
The roadways of LA 23 separate ahead of the Judge Perez Bridge and Belle Chase Tunnel. Construction replacing both the lift bridge and tunnel broke ground on April 12, 2021.1 11/19/08
Veterans Park was located between the Judge Perez Bridge and Belle Chasse Tunnel. The bridge replacement bridge includes relocating the park. 11/19/08
Built in 1956, the Belle Chase Tunnel originally carried two way traffic. 11/19/08
The lift bridge carries northbound traffic on LA 23 over the Intracoastal Waterway. A New Orleans and Gulf Coast Railway parallels the span. 11/19/08
22 feet wide, the Belle Chasse Tunnel is 800 feet in length.4 11/19/08
LA 23 south at the Belle Chasse Tunnel. 11/19/08
Closure of the Belle Chasse Tunnel is anticipated for August 2023. Bike and pedestrian access through the tunnel closed on May 20, 2023.5 11/19/08
The south end of LA 406 (Woodland Highway) ties into LA 23 at E Street in Belle Chasse. 11/19/08
LA 406 arcs 6.00 miles northeast into New Orleans at Stanton Road along the Mississippi River. 11/19/08
LA 23 continues another 0.6 miles east from LA 406 (Woodland Highway) before turning south along the Mississippi River. 11/19/08

  1. "Plenary Infrastructure Belle Chase Announced Groundbreaking of Belle Chase Bridge and Tunnel Replacement Project." https://myemail.constantcontact.com/ IN-CASE-YOU-MISSED-IT--We-Broke-Ground-on-the- Belle-Chasse-Bridge-and-Tunnel- Replacement-Project-on-April-12--2021.html? soid=1103666021170&aid=IMw2kO2QHdQ Plenary Infrastructure news release, April 12, 2021.
  2. "Photos: Belle Chasse Bridge and Tunnel Replacement project is underway" https://www.nola.com/multimedia /photos/photos-belle-chasse-bridge- and-tunnel-replacement-project-is-underway/ collection_798147f0-d6e9-11ec -a4b7-13a9f9f55f01.html#1 nola.com, May 18, 2022.
  3. Jason Hoffman, email: "Some corrections on Louisiana roads..." August 13, 2007.
  4. Belle Chasse Tunnel. https://bridgehunter.com/la/ plaquemines/i-c-waterway-tunnel BridgeHunter.com.
  5. Replacement Bridge Updates. https://bellechassebridge.com/construction/ Plenary Infrastructure, project web page.

Photo Credits:

11/19/08 by AARoads

Connect with:
U.S. 90 Business - Westbank Expressway

Page Updated 06-26-2023.

Go to Top