Friday, July 19, 2013

Whiskey Bay Exit

Whiskey Bay Exit

Deep in the southern part of the state, off the Atchafalaya bridge, lies an out-of-place area near the interstate.  On maps, it is shown as "Whiskey Bay", exit Exit 127, off of Interstate 10.  Other than the occasional curious visitor, "edge of the bank" fisherman, and boat landing, there isn't much to see here.   In fact, for most motorists who use this exit, there's really no where to go other than return to the interstate which can be done by driving under the pass.
Under the bridge at Whiskey Bay exitAlligator near the water's edge

The entrance and exit was built during the 1960s when the highway system was being developed.  The "bay" is nothing more than a boat launch into the larger bayou  If you decide to take this exit, you will notice there are two "entrances" to private property.   It was designed to let those property owners access to this remote area.  As the Daily Advertiser states it, "This remote exit has a ramp that curves sharply, almost into a complete circle, and leads onto La. 975. Turn left onto La. 975, go just about 40 yards, and there's a huge white sign with "NO" written in large black letters. The sign is a not-so-subtle reminder that there is no public access into the woods beyond that point and trespassing is prohibited. Visitors clearly are not welcome."  

In recent times, the location was infamous related to the Mickey Shunick murder case.  After her disappearance, her bicycle was found not far from the exit.  "It's a secluded area. Most people that go out there are going to camps or just exiting the interstate for a second and then getting back on," said Maj. Johnny Blanchard, head of the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office uniform patrol section. "There are no gas stations and no rest areas, just the boat launch. You have to go a mile or two before you see any camps. There is traffic in and out, but there are no residents or businesses anywhere around."

Other than existing as a glorified U-turn, this highway feature is a slightly bizarre thing to have on a major interstate.  

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