State Route 23 and 39 in Louisiana

By | October 18, 2022

State Route 23 in Louisiana

Begin Venice
End Gretna
Length 74 mi
Length 118 km



Port Sulphur

Nice hunt


State Route 23 or State Highway 23 (LA 23) is a state route in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The road forms a route through the Mississippi River Delta, from Venice to Gretna, a suburb of New Orleans. State Route 23 is 118 kilometers long.

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Travel directions

State Route 23 begins in Venice, the furthest possible point along the Mississippi River that can be reached by road. The road runs along the west bank of the Mississippi for almost its entire length. There are no bridges over the river on the route, but there are a few small ferry services. Almost the entire route is constructed as a 2×2 divided highwayand for the most part runs along the dike instead of over it. There is a lot of scattered development along the way, but no real places of size until one reaches the New Orleans metropolitan area. From Belle Chasse, you reach the urban area of ​​New Orleans, after which State Route 23 also leaves the Mississippi River and heads northwest. The road continues under the Intracoastal Waterway through the Belle Chasse Tunnel. State Route 23 ends at the junction with US 90 in Gretna, a suburb of New Orleans.


Today’s State Route 23 was created in 1955 with that year’s major renumbering in Louisiana. The road originally started in New Orleans and went on a ferry service from Jackson Avenue in New Orleans to Huey P. Long Avenue in Gretna.

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In the 1950s, the Belle Chasse Tunnel was constructed, an underwater tunnel under a new branch of the Intracoastal Waterway. The 591-meter tunnel opened to traffic on February 15, 1956. The traffic soon proved to be too much for the two-lane tunnel, so that in the 1960s a lifting bridge was built next to it, the Judge Perez Bridge, which opened on September 10, 1968. Between 2021 and 2024, this bridge and tunnel was replaced by a new 2×2 lane fixed bridge, which was the first PPP road project in the state of Louisiana.

Since the 1960s, State Route 23 has been widened to become a 2×2 divided highway for almost the entire length from Venice to Gretna . This was mainly of strategic importance, State Route 23 is the only road along the west bank of the Mississippi and the road was under capacity during hurricane evacuations. Various parts of State Route 23 ran over the river dike and were later replaced by a new route next to the dike, because the dike was not wide enough for 2×2 lanes.

Traffic intensities

8,000 vehicles drive in Venice every day. The intensities gradually increase towards the north, from 4,000 vehicles in the south to 15,000 vehicles just before Belle Chasse. This rises to 35,000 vehicles in Gretna.

Louisiana State Route 39

Get started New Orleans
End Pointe a la Hache
Length 54 mi
Length 87 km
New OrleansChalmette


Pointe a la Hache

State Route 39 or State Highway 39 (LA 39) is a state route in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The road forms a north-south route on the east bank of the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Pointe à la Hache. The LA 39 is 87 kilometers long.

Travel directions

The Claiborne Avenue Bridge over the Industrial Canal.

LA 39 begins in New Orleans at a junction with Interstate 10 and then heads east as Claiborne Avenue, one of the city’s major urban thoroughfares. The road then crosses the Industrial Canal via the Claiborne Avenue Bridge, a large vertical lift bridge. Claiborne Avenue is initially a 2×2 lane urban arterial, east of the Chalmette suburb, the road becomes more of a semi-urban 2×2 divided highway bypassing a number of suburbs along the Mississippi River. This stretch also runs parallel to State Highway 46 to Poydras.

At Poydras LA 39 and LA 46 cross each other. State Highway 39 then forms a more secondary road along the Mississippi River. This section is single-lane and leads over a dyke along the river in a southerly direction. There are no more bridges over the Mississippi in this area. To the east are extensive wetlands and wetlands. There are no real places left on the route and not so many scattered buildings. The road ends at Pointe à la Hache.


The road was originally part of State Highway 1, which continued along the Mississippi River in the 1930s to Fort St. Philip. At the time, this road was asphalted up to Pointe à la Hache and no longer further downstream. With the 1955 renumbering, this became State Highway 39, but no further than Pointe à la Hache. The road further to Fort St. Philip has fallen into disuse and is no longer accessible by land.

In 1957 the Claiborne Avenue Bridge opened over the Industrial Canal. This is a large lift bridge that extended Claiborne Avenue into the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The bridge was out of use from August 29, 2005 to early 2006 after the major floods after Hurricane Katrina. The Lower Ninth Ward was almost completely flooded and partly destroyed physically by the force of the influx. The road was closed, and it was not until 2007 that the Lower Ninth Ward began to be rebuilt. Even today, large parts of the area are still undeveloped.

In the 1970s or early 1980s, the 2×2 section between Chalmette and Poydras was constructed as a bypass of the outer suburbs of St. Bernard Parish.

Traffic intensities

Every day 48,000 vehicles drive off I-10, the intensities drop slightly to 44,000 vehicles on the Claiborne Avenue Bridge over the Industrial Canal and then 36,000 vehicles into Chalmette. Outside the New Orleans suburbs, volumes drop below 2,000 vehicles per day. At the end of the road, only 200 vehicles a day.

Louisiana State Route 39