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Old 12-22-2008, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 2,341,313 times
Reputation: 217

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mezzogirl View Post
I have traveled both routes tons of times. I-49 has to be the most boring drive EVER. And I am a frequent traveler all over the southeast (by car). Then the Atchafalaya basin is wreck/police central.
I-20, even though there is a boring stretch between Monroe and Vicksburg, it a much better drive. It's pretty safe for the most part, especially along the interstate. I wouldn't venture too much into Vicksburg or Jackson.... Good places to stop for gas or food would be Ruston, La or West Monroe, LA, then Clinton, MS, then take US 49 south. Well, that is the way I would go anyway. Have a great trip!
I concur with the above post, although I will say that I-20 is notorously in worse physical condition than I-10/I-12 (except for SW LA). But I-20 will be far less traffic, especially between Monroe and Vicksburg. Vicksburg to Jackson it depends on the time of day. I-55 south once you get out of Hinds County (Jackson) is pretty open but it would be a small backtrack to get to Gulfport. US 49 is not a bad route at all and you can get around Hattiesburg by taking I-59 to US 98 on the west side of the city. You can typically do 65 easy on US 49.
I will also say that I-55 is in pretty bad shape in Mississippi and parts of US 49 are still rough. But the drive will probably be easier minus the routes through and around Jackson.

If you want to know what I'd do just to break the monotony, I'd use one route to get there and use the other to get back. I did that driving to west Texas and to Chicago. It does help some.

I concur, Ruston is a great place to stop for gas. The main exit, I think US 167, I remember a store there being fine and I stopped there around 4am or so. Most of north Louisiana outside of Shreveport all the way to Monroe is fine. After that, it's farm country, but not bad by any sense. Vicksburg is fine along the interstate but gas is typically a lot higher there than in Clinton/Jackson. (Why, I don't know; it's just always been that way.) There are some bigger stores at the Springridge Rd exit in Clinton. Gas is also cheaper between Jackson and the coast but usually not right along the coast.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Louisiana
1,723 posts, read 2,010,967 times
Reputation: 525
Having spent 30 years traveling throughout the Gulf States from Texas to Florida, my vote is with those who suggest I-20 eastbound to Jackson, then US 49 from Jackson to Gulfport.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:45 AM
 
14 posts, read 45,990 times
Reputation: 15
Regarding Hwy 190 travel: speed traps are unjustly named. If you go the speed limit, or even 4 miles over, you don't have to worry about a ticket. If you are going over the speed limit, you deserve the ticket. IT'S NOT A TRAP! They have a right to hand out speeding tickets if you are speeding. As to whether or not you think the speeds are set too low, the speeds are set by the state dept of transportation, not the localities.

I personally much prefer taking 190 rather than I-10, because of the reasons stated above, plus the drivers on I-10 are CRAZY!!!
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
1,734 posts, read 3,620,865 times
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I-49 is usually light traffic. I would avoid I-55 at ALL COSTS. If you are passing through Baton Rouge during rush hour, avoid I-10. Get off of I-10 in Port Allen on either Hwy 415 or Hwy 1 and go north to U.S. 190 and follow that through north Baton Rouge and keep going until it meets I-12 on the western side of town.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:47 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 4,484,211 times
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Thanks for the information. I was wondering if there is some better scenery along US 190 as opposed to I-10 and whether the small towns between I-49 and Baton Rouge are friendly and safe to stop in. Also, if I head into Baton Rouge on US 190 and take either of the above mentioned roads to I-10 or to I-12, would I go through questionable areas of Baton Rouge?

Are there some areas of neat southern architecture along that route? I may look at the tourism website for Louisiana to get some ideas on things to see when taking a few stretch breaks. Last two times going through Louisiana, I wished that I could have seen more of the country and some local architecture. I may incorporate some of that near the routes.

Also, what is usually the temps for late May and June? In South Dakota, it is usually 70s and may be humid or dry, depending on the year. My guess is that it would be 80 degrees and somewhat humid, but I could be wrong.

At this point, I would lean with driving on I-20 but may consider I-10 or taking an alternate route until I get past Baton Rouge 20 miles or so and hook up with I-12 to avoid some of the traffic. Something to think about.

Seeing what the traffic down in Lousiana may be a tad different than what I am used to but its manageable. I am used to going 75-80 mph on the interstate with cruise control (speed limits are 75 mph on interstates up here and 65 on the two-lanes state or Federal roads), but sometimes go 70 mph to save fuel and if I am not as much in a hurry. I normally drive speed limit or a couple over, but know to go with the flow of traffic (when travelling in other areas) not go get run off the road and tend to be cautious in other areas (just to be safe in not getting a ticket-some areas can be strict and some laxed, hard to tell if I am not familiar with an area).
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
1,357 posts, read 3,717,934 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Thanks for the information. I was wondering if there is some better scenery along US 190 as opposed to I-10 and whether the small towns between I-49 and Baton Rouge are friendly and safe to stop in. Also, if I head into Baton Rouge on US 190 and take either of the above mentioned roads to I-10 or to I-12, would I go through questionable areas of Baton Rouge?).
The scenery isn't any better on 190 - you get a better view of the swamps on I-10. The tradeoff is the risk there is a wreck and traffic comes to a grinding halt.

Regardless of how you get to BR, you'll go through less than pristine areas. But it's worse if you come in on US 190.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Are there some areas of neat southern architecture along that route? I may look at the tourism website for Louisiana to get some ideas on things to see when taking a few stretch breaks. Last two times going through Louisiana, I wished that I could have seen more of the country and some local architecture. I may incorporate some of that near the routes.
I think the architecture you're referring to would be the plantations, which are near either side of the Miss River.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Also, what is usually the temps for late May and June? In South Dakota, it is usually 70s and may be humid or dry, depending on the year. My guess is that it would be 80 degrees and somewhat humid, but I could be wrong.
Late May/early June the humidity starts, so you'd expect temps in the upper 80s/low 90s. Definitely time to crank up the air conditioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
At this point, I would lean with driving on I-20 but may consider I-10 or taking an alternate route until I get past Baton Rouge 20 miles or so and hook up with I-12 to avoid some of the traffic. Something to think about.
The Catch 22 is that even though I-12 is the more direct route than I-10 is past BR, the traffic is no better. For one thing, the entire stretch of I-12 is becoming a suburb of BR or NO. For another thing, there are constant wrecks along I-12, which makes driving along there a joy. And then they're supposed to be starting the widening of I-12 for several miles between Baton Rouge and Denham Springs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Seeing what the traffic down in Lousiana may be a tad different than what I am used to but its manageable. I am used to going 75-80 mph on the interstate with cruise control (speed limits are 75 mph on interstates up here and 65 on the two-lanes state or Federal roads), but sometimes go 70 mph to save fuel and if I am not as much in a hurry. I normally drive speed limit or a couple over, but know to go with the flow of traffic (when travelling in other areas) not go get run off the road and tend to be cautious in other areas (just to be safe in not getting a ticket-some areas can be strict and some laxed, hard to tell if I am not familiar with an area).
For the portions of the Interstate where the speed limit is 70, you're probably OK going 75-77. HOWEVER, for the stretches of swamp between BR and Lafayette and between La Place and New Orleans, the speed limit is 60, and they're fairly aggressive with enforcement.

Bottom line: if you really want to explore parts of South Louisiana, you would want to take I-10 realizing that you may have traffic challenges in and around Baton Rouge. If you want to get to the Miss Gulf Coast, I think I-20/55/10 is a better deal.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
794 posts, read 2,341,313 times
Reputation: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Thanks for the information. I was wondering if there is some better scenery along US 190 as opposed to I-10 and whether the small towns between I-49 and Baton Rouge are friendly and safe to stop in. Also, if I head into Baton Rouge on US 190 and take either of the above mentioned roads to I-10 or to I-12, would I go through questionable areas of Baton Rouge?

Are there some areas of neat southern architecture along that route? I may look at the tourism website for Louisiana to get some ideas on things to see when taking a few stretch breaks. Last two times going through Louisiana, I wished that I could have seen more of the country and some local architecture. I may incorporate some of that near the routes.

Also, what is usually the temps for late May and June? In South Dakota, it is usually 70s and may be humid or dry, depending on the year. My guess is that it would be 80 degrees and somewhat humid, but I could be wrong.

At this point, I would lean with driving on I-20 but may consider I-10 or taking an alternate route until I get past Baton Rouge 20 miles or so and hook up with I-12 to avoid some of the traffic. Something to think about.

Seeing what the traffic down in Lousiana may be a tad different than what I am used to but its manageable. I am used to going 75-80 mph on the interstate with cruise control (speed limits are 75 mph on interstates up here and 65 on the two-lanes state or Federal roads), but sometimes go 70 mph to save fuel and if I am not as much in a hurry. I normally drive speed limit or a couple over, but know to go with the flow of traffic (when travelling in other areas) not go get run off the road and tend to be cautious in other areas (just to be safe in not getting a ticket-some areas can be strict and some laxed, hard to tell if I am not familiar with an area).

First off, NO, there is no easy way around Baton Rouge. Even if you got off I-10 and took the old bridge (US 190 into NBR) you would end up at I-12 east of downtown, but still west of the Amite River Bridge which is a nightmare in itself during rush hour. The only sure fire thing you can do is avoid BTR eastbound between 3-7pm (Mon-Thurs) and between Noon-7pm (Fri). There are only two other ways across the Amite River and neither are better routes for you.
If you were heading south towards NOLA, then I would suggest getting off at LA 1 south in Port Allen and follow that to Donaldsonville and then hop back across over the Sunshine Bridge (LA 70). But to go to Gulfport, I would not suggest driving through NOLA, especially the western side (Jefferson Parish). Traffic there is a nightmare too.

I have actually heard some horror stories about stopping along I-49 between Opelousas and Alex. I have heard from friends who stopped because of a flat tire and were confronted by some backwards looking gentlemen who threatened them until one of my friends showed a pistol. Then they left. I know this isn't a good representation of most of the people in that area, but trust me, I have no intentions to ever purposely stop along that route anytime in the future.

And by late May, June, it will be summer here. 80-90 degrees will full humidity. Mississippi beaches will be open and busy.
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:34 AM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 4,484,211 times
Reputation: 922
With it being very cold and snowy up here, the thought of hot and humid weather along with beaches sure sound wonderful. The Pontiac Grand Prix has an excellent A/C unit and is a good highway car. Took it last summer on a trip to Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas and it did excellent (some stretches with A/C and going 70-75 mpg, I got 31-32 mpg, 34 mpg going though Colorado). I like it cold and the car's A/C makes it icebox cold in the summer.

I do not plan on driving in New Orleans when heading to Gulfport, but my friend may drive me and he would be more familiar with the traffic of the area when heading to New Orleans for a day trip.

I would like to see a few historical sites-I am a big history buff. Also, I like to try different foods and try different chains that we do not have in the Upper Midwest. More I am thinking, I might explore some local sights when going through Lousiana on my way to the Mississippi Gulf. I would love to see the plantations will do some research on which ones to visit, which are not too far off my general route. If I go through Baton Rouge, I may time it to where I would avoid the morning rush hour and the afternoon/evening rush hour to have maximum sanity (lol). With Baton Rouge area being comparable in population as the Omaha metro, I have a rough idea but traffic may be somewhat different.

One question. Are they working on US 71 and future 49 north of Shreveport going to Texarkana?
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Old 12-24-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
1,357 posts, read 3,717,934 times
Reputation: 325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
One question. Are they working on US 71 and future 49 north of Shreveport going to Texarkana?
I-49 is complete from Texarkana to just above the Arkansas/Louisiana state line - one thing to keep in mind is that stretch of "interstate" is known as "Arkansas Highway 549" up there. They're doing some work on I-49 north of Shreveport, but in the meantime, you'll have to take US 71 to Shreveport.
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge
1,734 posts, read 3,620,865 times
Reputation: 631
Another route that has just come to mind would be taking I-20 into Vicksburg, then going south on U.S. 61. Beautiful scenic drive. You'll pass through alot of small towns. Some are good, and some are not so good (Fayette). Port Gibson has loads of beautiful churches and houses. Next sizeable community will be Fayette. Stay on the main highway and bypass Fayette. Nothing you want to see there. You'll also pass through Natchez. Good food, history, and architecture. Then comes Woodville. Not a terrible place, but not as interesting as Natchez or Port Gibson. As 61 enters Louisiana and approaches Baton Rouge, there's St. Francisville. St. Francisville is a very beautiful town with loads of nearby plantations. By this time, you can either continue into Baton Rouge and get on the interstate. Or if you aren't sick of small towns, you can take Louisiana Highway 10 from St. Francisville to I-55. Not really an efficient drive, just alot more peaceful than your other options.
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