U.S. Route 90: Wikis

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U.S. Route 90 shield
U.S. Route 90
Length: 1,633[1] mi (2,628.1 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
West end: I-10 / SH 54 at Van Horn, TX
Major
junctions:
I-35 at San Antonio, TX

I-45 at Houston, TX
US 59 at Houston, TX
I-10 at New Orleans, LA
US 11 at New Orleans, LA
US 49 at Gulfport, MS
I-65 at Mobile, AL
I-110 at Pensacola, FL
I-75 at Lake City, FL
US 1 in Jacksonville, Florida

East end: SR A1A in Jacksonville Beach, FL
United States Numbered Highways
ListBanneredDividedReplaced

U.S. Route 90 is an east–west United States highway. Despite the "0" in its route number, US 90 never was a full coast-to-coast route; it has always ended at Van Horn, Texas. A short-lived northward extension to US 62/180 near Pine Springs, Texas lasted less than a year, and the signs on that segment were likely never changed.

On August 29, 2005, a number of the highway's bridges in Mississippi and Louisiana were destroyed or damaged due to Hurricane Katrina, including the Bay St. Louis Bridge, the Biloxi Bridge, and the Fort Pike Bridge. US 90 has seven exits on Interstate 10 in the State of Florida. It also includes part of the DeSoto Trail between Tallahassee and Lake City.

As of 2004, the highway's eastern terminus is in Jacksonville Beach, Florida at an intersection with State Road A1A three blocks from the Atlantic Ocean. Its western terminus is in Van Horn, Texas at an intersection with Interstate 10 and State Highway 54. U.S. 90 formerly terminated at its junction with U.S. 80, however the western segments of that highway have been decommissioned in favor of Interstate 10 and Interstate 20.[2]

Contents

Route description

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Texas

In 1991, the construction on a four- to six-lane freeway east of Houston in Harris County was completed along a new routing for US 90 and that portion was designated the Crosby Freeway. This segment ran from just inside Beltway 8 to east of the town of Crosby. Construction began in 2006 to extend the freeway westward to the intersection of Interstate 10 (East Freeway) and the East Loop. The extension will have six lanes for its entire length.[3]

U.S. Highway 90 Alternate in Texas has an eastern terminus in Houston. Its western terminus is west of Seguin, near San Antonio. While the main line of US 90 parallels and in stretches is conterminous with Interstate 10 between San Antonio and Houston, Alternate US 90 veers to the south to serve Gonzales, Hallettsville, and Rosenberg. From there, the route roughly parallels US 59 through Richmond, Sugar Land, and Stafford, crossing under it in Sugar Land. It continues paralleling the Union Pacific's Sunset Route, as it has from Eagle Lake, through Missouri City. Entering Houston, Alternate US 90 is a major arterial route. It crosses the southern and eastern portions of Houston successively as South Main Street, Old Spanish Trail (O.S.T.), South Wayside Drive, Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia Drive, North Wayside Drive, and finally McCarty Street to its eastern terminus with US 90 on what's also called Liberty Road. Interestingly, it briefly is conterminous with US 90 and Interstate Highway 10 between North Wayside Drive and McCarty Street, and later passes under US 90 which by then is conterminous with North Loop 610 East.

  • the 75 mph speed limit begins 8 miles south of I-10 in Van Horn after a railroad underpass. Speed Limit is mainly 75 mph until the International Amistad Reservoir west of Del Rio, Texas.

Louisiana

US 90 (foreground) crossing Bayou des Allemands at the town of Des Allemands in Louisiana

Note: Entering Louisiana from the east, U.S. 90 follows a similar path as Interstate 10 through New Orleans. In New Orleans, U.S. 90 and I-10 part ways: I-10 goes to Baton Rouge, while U.S. 90 takes a southern turn, passing through the Houma-Thibodaux area, Morgan City, Franklin, and New Iberia before reaching Lafayette. The portion of U.S. 90 from New Orleans to Lafayette is designated to become the corridor for I-49. In Lafayette, U.S. 90 again meets up with I-10, and the two highways run side by side through Lake Charles and into Texas.

Mississippi

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi's portion of Highway 90 was entirely four-laned except for a very short segment at the state's west end leading to the old Pearl River Bridge into Louisiana. That segment of old highway is obviated for most purposes by an extension of the four-lane roadway from its divorce with Hwy 90 to the I-10 just east of the much newer Pearl Bridge.

Before Katrina, the 26-mile (42 km) stretch of 90 running from the St. Louis Bay Bridge at the west end to the Biloxi Bay Bridge at the east was one of the most scenic roadways in the South, offering beautiful views of the Gulf of Mexico on its south side and lovely mansions — some antebellum — on its north. The median featured many old, stately oak trees, a good number of which survived the blow.

Many segments and important bridges were heavily damaged or destroyed in the August 2005 hurricane. With the opening of two lanes of the Biloxi Bay Bridge on November 1, 2007[4], the entire route is now restored. However, reconstruction projects continue on much of the highway and lane closures are not rare. Substantial completion of all Highway 90 Katrina-related road work in this state was scheduled to have been completed by now.

As of January 4, 2008, major construction on the St. Louis Bay Bridge is complete and all traffic lanes are now open. [5] Motorists should exercise caution as crews continue work to complete bridge lighting, signage and the pedestrian/bicycle lane running alongside the east-bound traffic lanes.

'US Highway 90 Project History' recounts in some detail this roadway's colorful past in Mississippi, dating back to the early 20th century when it was part of the Old Spanish Trail. The pdf document is available at the 'Project Updates' page of the MS Department of Transportation's website (www.gomdot.com)

Alabama

Among the outstanding features of U.S. Highway 90 in Alabama is its trek across Mobile Bay and across the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge. Until the early part of the 21st century, the highway routed through downtown Mobile, then under the Mobile River via the Bankhead Tunnel. That routing is now U.S. Route 98. At the east end of Mobile Bay, U.S. 98 turns south for the scenic drive to and along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, while Highway 90 takes the more direct route through central Baldwin County toward Pensacola, Florida.

Florida

A US 90 shield used in Florida prior to 1993

As it enters the Sunshine State, US 90 shifts south towards Pensacola while Alternate US 90 stays to the north of the city. This stretch of highway is also known as Nine Mile Road. After Hurricane Ivan destroyed the I-10 Bridge in Northwest Florida, motorists waited as long as 2 hours to cross the Escambia bridge between Santa Rosa and Escambia counties.

The highway's route continues to the north of I-10 as a two-lane highway through most of the sparsely-populated inland areas of the panhandle, becoming four lanes through and near several towns. In Gadsden County, US 90 cuts to the southeast toward downtown Tallahassee, where it passes the north entrance of Florida State University and expands to six-lanes until its junction with US 27. Continuing east, the highway is a two-lane road north of I-10 along the rest of its route, except as it turns to the south to pass through Lake City at I-75. After going through the Osceola National Forest, it passes I-295 heading into Jacksonville, becoming four-lanes through the industrialized west side as Beaver Street, and through downtown as Union Street. It crosses the St. Johns River on the Main Street Bridge and continues east as Beach Boulevard to its terminus at SR-A1A in Jacksonville Beach.

Highway 90 passes through the county seat of all 15 counties on its course in Florida, and is never more than six miles (10 km) from I-10 throughout the state. The highway's hidden state road designation is primarily SR-10 (10A in Pensacola), but along Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville it becomes SR-212.

Speed Limit is 55 mph all rural points west of Monticello, FL. Speed Limit is 60 mph all rural points beginning in Madison County to Glen St. Mary, FL.

History

Hurricane Katrina

The U.S. 90 bridge between Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi and Pass Christian, Mississippi, as well as the bridge between Biloxi, Mississippi and Ocean Springs, Mississippi were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. During the storm the St. Louis Bay bridge was under water and destroyed. Portions of Highway 90 were damaged along the Battleship Parkway on Mobile Bay in Baldwin County, AL. Sections of the highway in Harrison County, Mississippi, including other bridges and much of the roadbed, were damaged or destroyed. Both the Rigolets Bridge and the Chef Menteur Bridge across Chef Menteur Pass in New Orleans East were damaged, but have since been reopened. Some sections of the highway in New Orleans, Louisiana were unpassable under flood waters for weeks due to the general flooding of that city; see Effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. The Crescent City Connection bridge over the Mississippi River in Sector 49, also known as Business U.S. 90, remained intact and was the only usable route out of that city in the immediate aftermath of the storm until the section of Leake Avenue/River Road between New Orleans and Metairie was able to be cleared of heavy debris, but was blocked off by Jefferson Parish and Gretna law enforcement officials in a politically controversial move to prevent the looting and general anarchy from spreading to the relatively intact West bank of the Mississippi River.

New US 90 bridge between Biloxi and Ocean Springs under construction

In mid-2006, construction began on the replacement for the Bay St. Louis bridge.[6] It was completed on January 4, 2008 and includes four traffic lanes plus emergency shoulders and a bicycle/pedestrian path. It also stands 85 feet (26 m) high at its highest point. Two-way traffic resumed on the eastbound lanes of the bridge on May 17, 2007 after an afternoon ceremony[7], effectively ending the temporary ferry service. The remaining half of the bridge opened to traffic on January 4, 2008.[8]

On June 6, 2006, a $338.6 million contract was let for the Biloxi-Ocean Springs replacement. The bridge will be 95 feet (29 m) tall at its highest point and will carry six traffic lanes, eight-foot inside and ten-foot outside shoulders, and a bicycle/pedestrian path. To many area residents' and leaders' delight, the bridge's westbound lanes opened to two-way traffic after a ceremony and parade on November 1, 2007, two weeks ahead of schedule. [9] Total bridge construction, including the opening of all six lanes of traffic, are scheduled to be completed by April 2008. [10]

The 1929 vintage bridge carrying Highway 90 over Chef Menteur Pass was repaired and opened to traffic on August 11, 2006 after it was closed after the storm.

Future

In Louisiana, current plans call for parts of U.S. 90 to be upgraded to interstate standards from Lafayette to just west of New Orleans and designate it Interstate 49. The stretch of U.S. 90 to be upgraded to I-49 stretches from the West Bank Expressway (U.S. 90 Business near Westwego, Louisiana) to just north of downtown Lafayette, where U.S. 90 splits from U.S. Route 167 (the two highways converge in downtown Lafayette). The stretch of U.S. 167 from U.S. 90 to I-10 will also be upgraded to I-49. Construction is still several years away. As of March 2008, due to a one billion dollar surplus in the Louisiana state budget, the legislature approved a bill which proposed capacity improvements on U.S. 90 in the Lafayette Area. U.S. 90 is currently six-laned from I-10 to Pinhook Road. The plan calls for six-lanes from Pinhook to the suburb of Broussard. The lanes are expected to be opened in two years.

Major intersections

See also

Related routes

Bannered and suffixed routes

References

  1. ^ a b Droz, Robert V. U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830). URL accessed 22:46, 20 February 2006 (UTC).
  2. ^ Endpoints of US highways
  3. ^ The Spokes. Oscar Slotboom, Houston Freeways, houstonfreeways.com. Last Accessed 2008-01-27.
  4. ^ Two Lanes of Biloxi Bay Bridge Reopens WLOX-TV Biloxi, Accessed 31 Oct, 2007.
  5. ^ Bay of St. Louis Bridge Opened to Four-Lane Traffic Today MS Dept. of Transportation
  6. ^ Work Underway To Rebuild Bay St. Louis Bridge WLOX-TV Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi. Posted April 12 2006. Accessed 13 December 2006.
  7. ^ Section of Katrina-Damaged Hwy 90 Bridge reopens WWL-TV New Orleans, posted 17 May, 2007. Accessed 27 May, 2007.
  8. ^ Reconstruction of The Bay St. Louis Bridge. Mississippi Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
  9. ^ LaFontaine, Ryan; Baker, Margaret; Perez, Mary and Newsom, Michael. Parade marks first vehicles to cross Biloxi Bay Bridge. Posted by The Sun Herald online November 1, 2007. Retrieved November 11, 2007
  10. ^ Mississippi Department of Transportation. U.S. 90 Bridge at Biloxi Retrieved November 11, 2007.

External links

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