Start: Lafayette, LA – End: Shreveport, LA
Start: New Orleans, LA – End: Fort Smith, AR
Est. Length: 236 miles
Benefits: Economic Development, Fuel/Environmental, Population Centers, Evacuation Route, Existing Highway
Connecting: LA: Shreveport. AR: Texarkana, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, MO: Joplin, Kansas City.
Intersections: I-16, Texarkana to Paris, TX; I-540, OK
Extending Interstate-49 from Shreveport, Louisiana to Texarkana, Arkansas will provide a short but critical extension for hurricane evacuation traffic. The route from Shreveport will join with SR-549 at Fouke, Arkansas to form the extended I-49. North of Texarkana, I-49 will continue to Fort Smith where it will join with I-540 spur. I-540 will be re-designated to I-49 to Fayetteville. North of Fayetteville, I-49 might join together sections of US-71 to form I-49 to Kansas City, MO.
A southern Louisiana section of the I-49 will continue from I-10 to New Orleans. The southern route will further assist in evacuations as well as economic development.
A number of economic development groups, political officials and interested citizens have formed non-profit organizations to promote the I-49 extension. The I-49 International Coalition has hosted a conference to study potential funding sources. Many good websites and news sources provide extensive detail about this Interstate project.
Additional I-49 post updates: