Saturday, November 11, 2017

91 Years

The US Highway System turned 91 today.  US 71, US 66, US 70 and a host of others replaced the Auto Trails such as Jefferson Highway, Ozark, Trail, Lincoln Highway.

The AASHO (American Association of Highway Officials) had actually approved the numbering as far back as March or April 1926, but they system wasn't officially rolled out until November 11.

There have been a lot of changes in 91 years: 66 is gone as is US 666, half of US 80 has been decommissioned, US 425 and US 278 have been added (among others) and many routes have changed alignments.  US 71 used to cross the Atchafalaya River at Melville, Louisiana and continued to Baton Rouge, but was cut back in the 1950's. US 371 went from being a Minnesota Highway (now MN 371) to an Arkansas-Louisiana Highway.




Monday, October 30, 2017

New Arkansas Speed Limits

ARDOT & the Arkansas Highway Commission are wanting feedback for proposed changes to highway speed limits.

You have until December 13 to express your opinion.

It's a lot of technical gobbledy gook, but boils down to the following

Rural Interstates – 75 miles per hour (mph)

Urban Interstates – 65 mph


Rural Multi-Lane Highways – 65 mph, unless an engineering study determines the need for a lower speed limit.


Other Rural Highways – 55 mph, with the option to increase the speed limit to 60 mph on individual highways where an engineering study determines that a higher speed limit is warranted.



Thursday, October 26, 2017

At the Sign Shop


Future I-57 signs at the ARDOT sign shop

I was half expecting I-57 signs (as opposed to "future 57), but I guess there is one more step in the bureaucracy before official approval, unless they're waiting on Missouri? 



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Coming of I-57

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has given its approval to designate Interstate 57 in Arkansas from I-40 at North Little Rock to US 412 at Walnut Ridge.. Eventually, it is expected to connect with I-57 near Sikeston, Missouri...eventually, even though there is no money to build it.  But because one US Senator from Arkansas wanted it, it will (maybe) eventually happen (kind of like I-99)



My 2 pfennigs: it's not needed. For now 57 will completely overlap US 67, so the only thing that will happen is ARDOT's limited budget will be stretched thinner when it has to manufacture and post signs. Plus, given their dislike for posting multiple routes, US 67 (and US 167 and US 64) will likely "disappear".  This really won't improve anything. It's just a waste of money: something Congress knows a lot about/




Friday, October 06, 2017

RIP AHTD

In case you missed it, AHTD is no more. On July 31, 2017 the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department became the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT).

New name, new Twitter handle ( @myardot ) but from my perspective, it's all superficial....same song, different dance.

WTF 220?

I took a little time today to check on the status of the AR 220 upgrade north of Lee Creek (widening, straightening paving). Everything in Crawford County is finished, but the pavement still drops off when you cross into Washington County. It's just a wide, unsigned, unmarked gravel road...same as it was when I visited in the Spring. However, in Crawford County the road is beginning to show signs of wear and has been patched in several places.

OK, two different contractors. The company who worked on the Crawford County section cut may have cut corners (figuratively and literally) to get the job done. The company working on Washington County, appears to be in no big hurry to finish. They are supposed to finish by the end of the year. I wonder if they will?

Mind you, I'm not pleased that ARDOT (formerly AHTD) is destroying the countryside to widen the road, but at least get the thing done?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Texas Observations

I've seen this many times before, but am just now recording my observations.
Texas uses different designs for their route markers depending on if it's free standing signage or expressway signage.

Texas State Route Signs have the Route Number with TEXAS at the bottom



Freeway signs, however, have the state name THEN the number


Of course, Farm Road signage is totally different:





Thursday, June 08, 2017

Author! Author!

I am now a published author (sort of). Encyclopedia of Arkansas has accepted my submission on US 71 in Arkansas. I really had to boil it down to attract a wider interest, since I could (and maybe someday will) write a "great American novel" about the road. I even learned more about the road while I was doing my research. 

It was one of the easiest, yet hardest things I've done. I had the knowledge, but struggled to put it into words on paper.