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Old 12-19-2008, 10:30 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,278,719 times
Reputation: 999

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I am considering of visiting a very good college friend in Gulfport, Mississippi next May/June and will be heading from the west. I have been to Lousiana twice, but it was a good 10 years ago and had fond memories of it. I will be heading from the northern part of Texas and Oklahoma. I am thinking of two options of going through Louisiana which are listed below:

1. From Shreveport, taking I-20 through the northern part of the state and eventually heading to Jackson, MS and go diagonally or via I-55 down to I-10 to Gulfport, MS.
2. From Shreveport, take I-49 down to I-10 and take that to Baton Rouge and use I-12 through Hammond and to Slidell until I meet up with I-10 again. I plan to visit New Orleans after meeting up with my friend in Gulfport, MS.

I am wondering which option would be better from a traffic standpoint (more manageable-steady traffic that is not chaotic), safety standpoint (less chances for crime and problems), and for good things to see and tour.

I can vaguely remember I-20 as being a relatively busy highway, but mild compared to the east coast. I have no idea of I-10 and would like some insight.

Any insight is welcomed.

Last edited by Chris19; 12-19-2008 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:22 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, United States
4,230 posts, read 9,330,510 times
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I-10 appears to be the most logical to me, but traffic along I-10 and I-12 will be somewhat if not considerably heavier than along I-20. If going this way just avoid Metro BR and Greater NO around rush hours.

If you decide to take I-20 yoy would get there quicker by taking U.S. 49 from Jackson directly to Gulfport. Even with traffic lights here and there it will be quicker than taking I-55 into Louisiana and I-12 then crossing back over into Mississippi on I-10. Avoid I-55 and U.S. 49 in Jackson during rush hour, The congestion won't be as bad as anything in Louisiana but the drivers are different.

I'd go with 10
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Old 12-20-2008, 08:41 AM
 
Location: South Dakota
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Thanks, WestbankNOLA, for the input. Would I have any problems crime wise (coming across questionable characters) if I stopped at a gas station, restaurant, or hotel along the I-10 or I-20 routes? Are the drivers aggressive or considerate or somewhere in between on I-10/I-12? What would I need to look out for (carefully) when driving on I-10?

When I go late next spring, I plan to time the trip as such where I would avoid the rush hours in Baton Rouge, New Orleans area, and other larger cities during rush hour, I generally do that when I head to Minneapolis, Denver, or Omaha.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:10 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, United States
4,230 posts, read 9,330,510 times
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As far as crime, just be smart. The only area I can speak for is New Orleans and the I-10/12 corridors should be reasonably safe. The only catch is in New Orleans there is no guarantee that the ramp will lead you to the street listed on the exit sign instead of side streets or service roads or that you will be able to get back on the I-10 from that street so it will be easy to get lost. Other than that just common sense.

Drivers in the New Orleans area can be aggressive at times but everywhere else it should be fine.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
1,357 posts, read 4,978,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
I am considering of visiting a very good college friend in Gulfport, Mississippi next May/June and will be heading from the west. I have been to Lousiana twice, but it was a good 10 years ago and had fond memories of it. I will be heading from the northern part of Texas and Oklahoma. I am thinking of two options of going through Louisiana which are listed below:

1. From Shreveport, taking I-20 through the northern part of the state and eventually heading to Jackson, MS and go diagonally or via I-55 down to I-10 to Gulfport, MS.
2. From Shreveport, take I-49 down to I-10 and take that to Baton Rouge and use I-12 through Hammond and to Slidell until I meet up with I-10 again. I plan to visit New Orleans after meeting up with my friend in Gulfport, MS.

I am wondering which option would be better from a traffic standpoint (more manageable-steady traffic that is not chaotic), safety standpoint (less chances for crime and problems), and for good things to see and tour.

I can vaguely remember I-20 as being a relatively busy highway, but mild compared to the east coast. I have no idea of I-10 and would like some insight.

Any insight is welcomed.
Couple of issues with I-10: (1) the Atchafalaya Swamp Freeway between Lafayette and BR has a 60 mph speed limit and tends to have lots of wrecks. Which messes up traffic because you don't have many alternatives; (2) I-12 (esp near Denham) always seems to have some truck/car wreck that messes up traffic; (3) I-10 between BR and NO also has a swamp freeway with a 60 mph speed limit; (4) coming into BR on I-10 (assuming no wrecks out in the swamp) can be a hair puller at certain times in the afternoon from about LA 415 to the 10/12 split. So you may want to try I-20 for those reasons.
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Old 12-21-2008, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Kennesaw, GA
167 posts, read 776,362 times
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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!
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, Louisiana
4,557 posts, read 3,336,283 times
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If you decide to take I-49 and I-10, it should be faster to take U.S Highway 190 at Opelousas instead of getting onto I-10 at Lafayette. You would get off of Hwy 190 just before Baton Rouge and take the Lobdell Highway which leads to I-10.
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Old 12-21-2008, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
1,357 posts, read 4,978,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmaf623 View Post
If you decide to take I-49 and I-10, it should be faster to take U.S Highway 190 at Opelousas instead of getting onto I-10 at Lafayette. You would get off of Hwy 190 just before Baton Rouge and take the Lobdell Highway which leads to I-10.
...and be careful in Port Barre, Krotz Springs, and Livonia - fairly aggressive speed traps

and a word of caution for those not used to taking 190 to BR - the "Lobdell Highway" is not well marked. The way you know it's there is that at a certain point, you can see the State Capitol and petrochem plants in the distance. Soon after that, you'll see small signs on the right side of the highway directing you to I-10 via LA 415 (LA 415 is the "Lobdell Highway"), but if you miss the turn, you get to take the "old bridge" (a 1920s era bridge, complete with narrow lanes) through the less scenic parts of Baton Rouge on I-110, complete with two hairpin curves and a lane that disappears after the Gov's mansion.
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Old 12-21-2008, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Louisiana
97 posts, read 255,535 times
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If you stop in Ruston, check out the Log Cabin Restaurant. Ate there several times while visiting my daughter in college.
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:46 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,278,719 times
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Thank you everyone for the helpful advice. I have plenty of time to think through the different options. I am leaning towards taking I-20 at this point, but that may change.

I can remember taking that route to Jackson when I was on a roadtrip with my parents back when I was in high school and stayed in Ruston and stopped in Vicksburg. There was a decent hotel there we stayed at. There were some neat historical stuff in Vicksburg, but we seen some iffy areas of Vicksburg which makes the bad areas in Sioux Falls (a city of 150,000) look nice). I plan to avoid stopping in Jackson and normally do not like getting on and off a freeway to fill up for gas or eat when I go through a larger city.

When going through I-10 or I-20, I would like to stop at some restaurants that have Lousiana/southern food (try something different). I had "po boy" sandwiches about 10 years back that were awesome and gumbo that was also good. I am sure that there are more things to try. I would love to try crawfish/crawdaddies.

Would I-20 be the type interstate where I can set my car on cruise control on 65 or 70 mph easily (I like to use the cruise control for relaxed driving and to save fuel) or will have to speed up and slow down a lot? My impression is that I-10 would be like some of the interstates out east and parts of I-80 where there are a ton of trucks and traffic is intense in spots.

I look forward to passing through Lousiana next May/June and stopping to eat and to enjoy the state a little.
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