I-10 New Orleans stock

I-10 West in New Orleans overlooking the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (image via Google Maps). 

Louisiana's welcome signs along Interstate 10 could soon celebrate the New Orleans Saints.

Lawmakers agreed I-10 welcome signs at the Texas and Mississippi state lines should declare people have entered the "Home of the Who Dat Nation," referencing the nickname for Saints fans.

A 35-0 Senate vote Tuesday gave final passage to the bill by New Orleans Sen. Wesley Bishop. It also calls for the Saints appreciation language to be included on the Superdome exit sign on I-10 in downtown New Orleans.

The plan's original legislation would have designated I-10 "Who Dat Nation Highway" from the Mississippi state line to the Texas border.

The bid was shelved in favor of the more modest tribute after Bishop told the Senate Transportation Committee panel he had since learned 

learned that the federal government in 1965 designated I-10 from Florida to California as Blue Star Highway in tribute to the nation's veterans.

"I did not want to affect that whatsoever," Bishop said.

The House added an extra provision to the bill, designating Hwy. 90 from Lafayette to Raceland as the "Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco Highway," in honor of Louisiana's former governor.

Blanco, 76, is gravely ill with incurable melanoma. She was diagnosed and treated for a rare eye cancer in 2011. It returned and spread to her liver in 2017.

She has been undergoing chemotherapy at various times in recent years but is doing well enough now that she is no longer receiving hospice care at her Lafayette home, as had been reported a month ago.

The signs must be paid with local or private dollars to be installed.

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