U.S. 90 follows a somewhat convoluted street routing throughout the city of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish. The highway enters Orleans Parish across the Rigolets to run southwest along a narrow strip of land separating Lakes Pontchartrain from St. Catherine. Elevated homes, fish camps and boat docks line the route as it travels just 4 to 10 feet above sea level. Spanning Chef Menteur Pass, U.S. 90 reaches the community of Venetian Isles. A short distance west from there is a levee and the south end of U.S. 11.
Crossing another levee, U.S. 90 enters the Viavant – Venetian Isles area at just two feet above sea level. The four lane route expands to include a grassy median from Industrial Parkway west by the NASA Michoud Assembly Facility to Interstate 510. Chef Menteur Highway separates industrial areas to the south from the Read Boulevard and Plum Orchard residential street grid through to the first meeting with Interstate 10.
Interstate 10 passes south of U.S. 90 as Chef Menteur Highway travels west through the Pines Village community to a lift bridge across the Inner Harbor Navigational (Industrial) Canal. Beyond a retail area in Gentilly Woods, U.S. 90 shifts onto a tree lined boulevard (Gentilly Boulevard) west to Dillard University and the couplet of New Orleans and Allen Streets. The one-way pair converges south of I-610 as Broad Street to the Fair Grounds and 7th Ward communities.
Broad Street angles U.S. 90 southwest to Tulane Avenue, where U.S. 61 begins and U.S. 90 turns southeast through Tulane – Gravier to the Claiborne elevated freeway for Interstate 10. Claiborne Avenue parallels the I-10 viaduct southwest by the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to emerge from the freeway at Central City. Prior to sometime after the 1960s, U.S. 90 used Canal Street between Broad Street and Claiborne Avenue.
Advancing from Central City, U.S. 90 takes the curved alignment of Catherine Street northwest to Tulane University and East Carrollton to exit the city from the Leonidas community. Beyond the Orleans Parish line, U.S. 90 follows Jefferson Highway through a mixture of industrial and residential areas through Jefferson to the Huey P. Long Bridge at Clearview Parkway (LA 3152). Carrying two railroad tracks and six lanes of traffic across the Mississippi River, the high level cantilever bridge was expanded during a $1.2 billion project between 2006 and 2013.
A short stretch of freeway extends south from the Huey P. Long Bridge through Bridge City to Louisiana 18 west. South from there, U.S. 90 Business returns to U.S. 90 from the Westbank Expressway at a folded diamond interchange. The remainder of the drive west through Avondale, Mimosa Park and Boutte travels at grade as a busy trucking corridor to Interstate 310. Area wetlands along this corridor will likely require the Interstate 49 South corridor to parallel U.S. 90 along elevated roadway. The high costs with a bridge system may lead to a truncation of the route to end at I-310 and U.S. 90 at Boutte instead of to the east along the West Bank Expressway.