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Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway

The Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway was a controversial, mostly-elevated, never-built freeway that would have cut through the French Quarter (Vieux Carré) of New Orleans, Louisiana. From 1964 to 1969, it was also designated Interstate 310.

Interstate 310 marker

Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway
Route information
HistoryPlanned 1964–1969
Highway system
  • Louisiana Highway System
Flyer by the Louisiana Council for the Vieux Carré opposing the proposed elevated riverfront expressway in New Orleans, c. mid-1960s.


Route descriptionEdit

The freeway would have split from Interstate 10 at exit 237 (Elysian Fields Avenue - Louisiana Highway 3021) and run south along Elysian Fields Avenue to the Mississippi River. There it would turn southwest and run to a point near Lafayette Street, where ramps would connect to the Greater New Orleans Bridge (U.S. Highway 90 Business). An extension, never part of the Interstate Highway System, was to continue west to meet the Earhart Expressway (Louisiana Highway 3139).

A small piece of the freeway was built as a six-lane tunnel, 690 feet (210 m) long by 98 feet (30 m) wide, under the Rivergate Convention Center, now Harrah's New Orleans Casino. It is now used for valet parking.[1]


The Louisiana Highway Department (predecessor to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development) hired Robert Moses as a consultant in 1946 to examine New Orleans' traffic and propose solutions. His proposals included a 40-foot high, 108-foot wide freeway running 3.5 miles from I-10 near Elysian Fields Ave, following Elysian Fields at ground level to the riverfront, and continuing south, elevated to the BR US 90 bridge approach.[2] It was not added to the Interstate Highway System as an urban route in the 1950s due to a lack of funding, but by 1961 it was being considered for addition. One proposal to gain the mileage was to shift Interstate 10 to the Riverfront route, but eventually, in 1964, the Interstate 420 bypass of Monroe was removed from the Interstate System and the mileage transferred to the Riverfront Expressway project.[3] It was officially added to the Interstate Highway System on October 13, 1964, as Interstate 310.[3]

After wide local opposition, the freeway was removed from the Interstate System on August 22, 1969.[4] Its mileage was used in part for a new southern bypass of New Orleans—Interstate 410—which was itself never completed.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "New Orleans @ SouthEastRoads". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Interstate 310". Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard (7 April 2011). "The Second Battle of New Orleans: Vieux Carré Riverfront Expressway (I-310)". Highway History. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  4. ^ Souther, J. Mark. "New Orleans on Parade: Tourism and the Transformation of the Crescent City." Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2013. pp. 66-71.

External linksEdit