Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Then and Now on US 24

Thanks to Mark Roberts of cosmos-monitor.com for this:

Photos of "then and now" on US 24 at the Colorado-Kansas State Line. The first photo was taken in 1948 eastbound on US 24 crossing into Kansas. The second photo was taken this past July at nearly the same location.

Of course, US 24 doesn't even run along here anymore: it follows Interstate 70 between Burlington, CO and Colby, KS.

But the old road is still there and still driveable... it's just a poorly marked county road these days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

4 Lane US 71 Opens at Pineville, MO

I spent this afternoon driving the new 4 Lane US 71 at Pineville, Missouri. It's the last section of 4 Lane highway to open between the Arkansas-Missouri State Line and Interstate 44 near Joplin. Traffic at either end of the new roadway was somewhat chaotic as MoDOT tries to tie the new 4 Lane into the previous opened 4l ane sections. I never realized how big a job this section was until I saw the deep roadcuts surrounding the roadway. Both exits: Route H and Route EE are fully open. Just north of EE, northbound 71 traffic shifted into one southbound lane for a about a mile so the new roadway can be properly joined with the already opened section that ended just south of Anderson. An at-grade intersection with Business 71 is being elimated, too (it's already been barricaded & closed to traffic).

Heading south on "new" 71, just past Route H, there is a ramp stub for future Interstate 49. 71 swerves SE at this point and the stub points slightly SW.
Business 71 heading south out of Anderson has been temporarily detoured down the newly completed West Outer Road to Route EE., then follows EE east back to "old 71" before heading south towards Pineville. The southern terminus of Business 71 is currently a dead-end. Approximately a mile south of Pineville the road is closed so it can be realigned to meet "new" 71 at an at-grade crossroad with Wolf Den Rd.

There is plenty of signage going both directions on Bus 71 at Route EE and Route H directing motorists to the new alignment of 71. BUT the old signage has not been removed prompting at least one motorist to become lost just south of Pineville. She thought she was on "mainline" 71 and was heading for Jane. When she encountered the barricades, she became confused and asked me how she was supposed to get to Jane (I had stopped to take photos). I directed her back to Route H, but I didn't follow to see if she found her way or not.

I didn't track "old" 71 north from Brush Creek because Rains Rd (old old 71, the only access to that section now) had been freshly oiled and I didn't want to get it all over my van. However, from what I could see from south of Pineville, that section of "old" 71 will dead-end somewhere north of Brush Creek and will not connect to the new 4 lane.

Progress. US 71 is now a 4 lane divided highway from Fayetteville, AR to Kansas City, MO and points beyond. Its days as a simple 2 lane country highway are all but past.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Highway Robbery on Route 66 ?

There's a "cut-out" California US66 sign for sale on e-bay for $149. The seller says it's "rare original sign" that has never been used.
Funny thing is, you can buy exact replicas (made to the original specifications) on-line for around $40.
So either the seller doesn't know this or he's hoping to find a buyer who doesn't know.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I-35W Bridge Collapse in Minnesota

The I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota has collapsed into the river. As of this writing (9pm CDT) there is one confirmed drowning death. I feel like I should say something, but I don't know what to say. I'm simply in shock. Every time I cross the Arkansas River near Webbers Falls, OK I remember the bridge collapse there 5 years ago. It's always been my greatest fear while driving: having an accident and falling into the river below.


Confusion Reigns

My sister is moving to Fayetteville sometime this month. My folks are planning to meet her this weekend or next to see the house she wants to buy. Since I have a good head for roads, my mom called me asking the best way to Fayetteville from Nixa, MO. Easy: Mo 14 to US 60; West on US 60 to Mo 37; South on Mo 37 to US 62; West on US 62 to AR 94; East on AR 94 to US 71B then straight south on 71B to Fayetteville. Easy enough, no? NO!

My dad calls back the next day and asks how he can go east on 94 when he's going west on 62?
Simple: you're going west on 94, but it's posted as east. Long story. Short version: East 94 used to be West 62. Well, he sort of understood, but was still confused.

Hey, don't blame me... blame AHTD .