US 61 in Louisiana

US 61 in Louisiana

North America



US 61
Get started New Orleans
End Laurel Hill
Length 121 mi
Length 195 km
New Orleans





Baton Rouge



According to foodezine, US 61 is a US Highway in the US state of Louisiana. The road forms a north-south route from New Orleans through the capital Baton Rouge to the Mississippi border. US 61 is 195 kilometers long in Louisiana.

Travel directions

The Airline Highway at New Orleans.

New Orleans

US 61 begins in the city of New Orleans at US 90. The road is formed by Tulane Avenue, a 2×2 lane urban arterial. From the intersection with Interstate 10, US 61 is formed by the historic Airline Highway. The first few kilometers of Airline Highway has 2×4 lanes and enters the large suburb of Metairie. US 61 heads straight west through Metairie, narrowing in phases from 2×4 to 2×3 and later 2×2 lanes in Kenner. Just west of the Kenner suburb, US 61 has a major interchange with Interstate 310. Here one leaves the urban area of ​​the New Orleans region.

Airline Highway (New Orleans-Baton Rouge)

The Airline Highway is then a 2×2 divided highway over its entire length until the capital Baton Rouge. The road here follows the east bank of the Mississippi River and leads variedly through agricultural land, dense forests and swamps, and through urban areas. West of Norco, the road crosses the Bonnet Carré Spillway via an overpass. The Bonnet Carré Spillway is a high water spillway for the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain to protect New Orleans.

Between Laplace and Sorrento, US 61 runs through a swamp area and is largely on embankments and not on long bridges like most highways in this region. For Sorrento one crosses I-10 again. US 61 then travels through a vast exurban area southeast of Baton Rouge, through places like Gonzales and Prairieville. The exurbs here gradually merge into the eastern suburbs of Baton Rouge. US 61 has a cloverleaf with Interstate 12 and then forms the east bypass of Baton Rouge as a city highway with a lot of activity and retail. Finally, it crosses Interstate 110 with a stack interchange in the north of Baton Rouge. This part also coincides with the US 190.

Baton Rouge – Mississippi

North of Baton Rouge, US 61 still has 2×2 lanes continuously and follows the course of the Mississippi River. Here the area is quickly becoming more rural in character with mainly dense forests. There are no major towns on the route between Baton Rouge and the Mississippi state border. North of Wakefield the border with Mississippi follows, after which US 61 in Mississippi continues to Natchez and Vicksburg.


According to bittranslators, US 61 was created in 1926. The route in Louisiana has not changed substantially since then. In the 1920s, the Jefferson Highway was built, an auto trail that followed the Mississippi north-south and started in New Orleans. It was replaced by the wider Airline Highway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge between 1925 and 1953. This was a 2×2 divided highway, one of the first in Louisiana. The road was so named because of the long straight line, which resembled a runway because of the straight lines and width. The Airline Highway also served the main airports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Between 1962 and 1978, Interstate 10 was built parallel to the Airline Highway, losing its through importance. North of Baton Rouge, US 61 is still of great importance as a north-south route on the east bank of the Mississippi River.

Airline Highway

US 61 (Airline Drive) at LA-3046 in Metairie.

The Airline Highway is a 186 kilometer route from New Orleans to Krotz Springs and also includes US 190 between Baton Rouge and Krotz Springs. Its construction began in the mid-1920s as a two-lane road to form a rapid route between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The first five-mile stretch between Shrewsbury Road in Metairie and Williams Boulevard (LA-49) in Kenner opened in June 1927. The remainder of the route was then opened shortly between 1928 and 1933, providing New Orleans with a modern road link to the capital Baton Rouge.

US 61 runs west from New Orleans through the Bonnet Carré Spillway, a stretch of land between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain that can flood at high tide into the Mississippi River. This is controlled by locks, which are normally closed. US 61 has been constructed on site over a 1,830-foot viaduct, allowing the road to remain in use on the rare occasions when the Bonnet Carré Spillway is in use. The Bonnet Carré Spillway was built in 1931, initially US 61 temporarily ran over the River Road along the dam and could therefore overflow at a spillway in use. On September 28, 1935, US 61 Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge opened to traffic.

Immediately after completion, the first sections in the western suburbs of New Orleans began to be widened. Between 1935 and October 1937, the oldest 5 miles to 2×2 lanes were widened between Haring Road in Metairie and Williams Boulevard (LA-49) in Kenner. In December 1938, a 3.5-kilometer section of 2×2 to 2×3 lanes opened between Labarre Road and Haring Road in Metairie. This included an elevated roundabout above US 61 at its junction with Causeway Boulevard. This is a rare type of connection that has only been built a few times in the United States. On August 26, 1940, a 2×4 lane extension opened east from Labarre Road to Tulane Avenue in New Orleans. This created a modern city highway with 4 to 8 lanes from New Orleans to Kenner.

In the 1940s-50s, the Airline Highway was further widened to 2×2 lanes, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and from Baton Rouge to Krotz Springs. In the early 1950s, at 200 miles in length, this was the longest 4-lane toll-free stretch of road in the United States.

The Bonnet Carré Spillway Bridge was originally built as a single span with four narrow lanes, where many collisions occurred. In 1984 a second span opened next to it, so that there was also a divided highway here. In 1993, the interchange between US 61 and Interstate 310 opened just west of New Orleans. This interchange has large viaducts.

Baton Rouge

In August 1940, the Huey P. Long Bridge opened over the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. Immediately afterwards, a bypass was built from Baton Rouge, which was opened in July 1941 to the Nesser Overpass with the Jefferson Highway. Before I-10 was completed through Baton Rouge, traffic from New Orleans to Houston was on US 61 and US 190 through the east and north of Baton Rouge. A few cloverleaves have been laid in Baton Rouge, presumably in the early 1960s. The cloverleaf between US 61 and US 190 in east Baton Rouge was originally a traffic interchange and opened in 1963. The interchange with I-110 in north Baton Rouge was constructed as a full stack in the 1970s. There were plans at the time toInterstate Highway over the Baton Rouge Bypass to be numbered Interstate 410. In 2006, the intersection between US 61 and LA-3246 in Baton Rouge was reconstructed into a continuous-flow intersection (CFI).

Baton Rouge – Mississippi

In the late 1970s or early 1980s, US 61 north of Baton Rouge was widened to 2×2 lanes, initially just past Thompson Creek, near St. Francisville, and continuing through St. Francisville in 2010. Around 2005, the section between St. Francisville and the Mississippi border was widened to 2×2 lanes.


The Airline Highway is a major road in the capital Baton Rouge. There are wishes from the region to build an elevated toll road on top with 2×2 lanes from I-12 to the Huey P. Long Bridge.

Traffic intensities

21,000 vehicles drive daily in downtown New Orleans and 46,000 on the New Orleans-Metairie border. Intensities drop west from 40,000 to 25,000 vehicles at I-310. 20,000 vehicles continued to Laplace and 15,000 vehicles west of Laplace. This increases to 41,000 vehicles south of Baton Rouge and 64,000 vehicles north of I-12. About 50,000 vehicles passed through Baton Rouge. This drops to about 16,000 vehicles north of Baton Rouge quite quickly. Only 4,600 vehicles drove on the Mississippi border.

US 61 in Louisiana