End of US highway 171

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: James Allen; Karin and Martin Karner; Jeff Morrison; Stephen Taylor; "Urban Prairie Schooner"

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1926-1945(?) Shreveport, LA (Market) Lake Charles, LA (Broad)
1945(?)-1965(?) Shreveport, LA (Mansfield) Lake Charles, LA (Broad)
1965(?)-present Shreveport, LA (Hearne) Lake Charles, LA (Fruge)

US 171 has been around since the beginning in 1926, running from Shreveport to Lake Charles LA. The endpoints in both cities have changed over the years.

It's likely that US 171 originally met its "parent" route (US 71) in Shreveport. US 71 traffic probably used Market Street, and US 171 probably came in on Texas Street. The photo below is looking southwest on Texas in downtown Shreveport:

Google Maps Street View, 2008

Southbound US 71 was to the left on Market; northbound was to the right; and US 171 began straight ahead. In about 1945, US 171's multiplex with US 79/80 was eliminated by cutting 171 back to its junction with US 79/80. At the time, though, US 171 followed Mansfield Road all the way up to US 79/80 (instead of veering off onto Hearne Avenue, as it does today). The shot below is looking southwest on US 79/80, which continue to the right on Greenwood Road:

Google Maps Street View, 2008

The north beginning of US 171 was to the left on Mansfield until around 1965 - that was when US 171 traffic was redirected to follow its current corridor along Hearne. The photo below was looking north on Hearne, at the intersection with Greenwood (US 79/US 80):

Morrison, Dec. 2001

Although there was no sign to indicate it, the US 171 designation ends here. Within the next ten years, signage had been replaced:

Taylor, Mar. 2011

The assemblies visible at far left and far right are shown close-up below:

Taylor, Mar. 2011 (both)

I think the US 171 designation ought to continue straight ahead on Hearne, along what is now LA 3094, to the intersection with Market (US 71) - in order to connect with its parent. Heading the opposite direction, the shot below shows the first southbound US 171 sign on Hearne:

Taylor, Mar. 2011

The photo below shows the sign at the bottom of westbound I-20's exit 16 at Hearne:

Morrison, Dec. 2001

Note that US 171 is only signed south on Hearne. But actually it also goes north (right) for another quarter-mile to its terminus at Greenwood (US 79/80).


The south end of US 171 is in Lake Charles; the photo below is looking south on Gerstner Memorial Drive (or MLK Highway) at Fruge Street:

Taylor, Mar. 2011

Today US 171 ends there, at its junction with US 90 - ahead the designation becomes LA hwy. 14. But US 90 traffic has been directed to use Fruge Street only since about 1965. US 90 originally ran along Broad Street, so US 171 used to continue about a half-mile further ahead. The photo below was taken from that perspective:

Google Maps Street View, 2008

That's the historic south end of US 171 at Broad (which today is marked as Business 90). Now we'll turn around the opposite direction (north on Gerstner) and view the current south beginning of US 171 at Fruge:

Allen, 2000

That's LA hwy. 14 at this point, but it becomes US 171 straight ahead. If you continue that direction, you're soon greeted with the first northbound confirming assembly:

Karners, Dec. 2009

The shot below is looking east on Fruge:

Karners, Dec. 2009

The south beginning of US 171 is to the left. Below is an older shot, taken from the opposite direction (westbound US 90):

Allen, 2000

Today the south beginning of 171 is to the right.