Thursday, August 19, 2021

Open for Business (ALMOST)

 ARDOT has announced I-49 at the Missouri State Line will open September 30.  An official time has not been given (yet), but it will be held at the Arkansas-Missouri State Line. After this, I-49 will be complete from Alma, AR to I-435 near Kansas City.

This has been a long time coming, but there is lots more to be done. ARDOT is contemplating extending I-49 from I-40 at Alma to AR 22 near Barling. It will likely only be a two-lane road for now until ARDOT can afford to finish it.

Also, there is discussion of a 2-Lane "freeway" From US 71 south of Fort Smith to US 270 near Y City. Again, it will be 4-Laned when ARDOT has the money. (no time soon, is my guess).

Oh, for those who have asked, US 71 will not follow I-49 north of Bella Vista. It will remain on its current alignment, joining I-49 again near Pineville, Missouri.



Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Quad Cities Trip

 A couple weeks ago, I went to a road meet in Quad Cities (Davenport, Moline, Rock Island,  Bettendorf).

 This was my first "official" road trip since Covid-19. To say I needed it, would be an understatement: staying home except for groceries of the doctor gets old.

Going up, I basically took I-49, I-29,  I-80, US 59 and US 6.  Day 1 was to Avoca, Iowa where I found an old Sinclair station in Oakland.


From there, I mostly followed I-80 except where US 6 diverged and ran independently. I spent an hour in Grinnell taking in the historical buildings downtown. 




The trip home was even more rewarding. Skipping the Interstate, I opted for Historic Route 6 (basically, pre-Interstate US 6). . I found an older DX station near Durant. that's being refurbished:

Near Brooklyn, I found another auto repair shop branded Standard of Indiana


(yes the globes are modern, as opposed the old crown globe lights)

I also found a couple nice truss bridges along the way









and a nice 1920's arch bridge


My biggest find was an old 1940's (?) EN-AR-CO/ White Rose gas attendant sign near Menlo,Iowa. 


Was it worth it? HELL yes! But now I'm itching to hit the road again.



Wednesday, May 26, 2021

*SIGH*

I keep meaning to keep this page better updated, but  I  get distracted and forget. Anybody got some memory pills?

RE: I-40 Mississippi River bridge at Memphis. We're lucky the problem was found, how was it missed for 5 years? Someone was a LOT of explaining to do. But now I'm hearing of another bridge in trouble. I am beginning to think ARDOT doesn't know what they are doing.

Speaking of ARDOT, word has trickled down regarding the opening of I-49 at the Missouri State Line. As of now, plans are for a ribbon cutting in mid-September with the road officially opening the end of September or early October. MoDOT is in the process of paving their end while Arkansas continues to work on 49/71 interchange at Bella Vista. 

Business 71 has been removed in Fayetteville AND in Bentonville. ARDOT decided a few months ago they have too many highways to keep track of, so they ceding some of them to municipalities. Sadly, it appears AR 369 near Paris isn't on the list, despite being  little more than a half mile state maintained corporate driveway.  Can anyone at ARDOT explain this? 



Sunday, May 02, 2021

I've Been Shot !!!

Finally got my Covid-19 shot today, after all that running around, being told to call for an appointment, then being told all the appointments were filled. They told me to come at 1:15 but I was there at 1 to be sure I had a space in line. Didn't matter: there were only 2 cars ahead of me. Even waiting 15 minutes after "just in case" something went wrong, there were still only a couple cars in line. 

When I was finished, I drove up to AQ Chicken (not bad, but not as good as I remember), got gas, then headed home. 

I'm not sure how long I should still self-quarantine : a week? 2 weeks? I'm itching to hit the road again. I've done a couple day trips in the area, but I have a lot left to explore. Hell, I'll probably live forever trying to get to everything.

ADDENDUM

3 weeks later and I've still had no side effects.




Shame on Me

Shame on me, I bought another sign. This one is for I-57 in Arkansas

57 is being extended from Sikeston, Missouri to near Little Rock, Arkansas  roughly following US 60 and US 67. There are signs all up and down the corridor saying "Future I-57", but no actual 57 shields yet... except mine. There was a vendor on e-bay selling replica Interstate shields, so I ordered 57. 

It looks perfect: the proper fonts, the correct spacing, etc. Almost looks as if it cam from the highway itself... but it didn't. Should I mark it somehow like writing "this is a fake" on the back side?.

I'll worry about once I find a place to hang the sign.  Then I start planning for another sign I'll probably order around Christmas. 




Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Name Game

Fayetteville, Arkansas (home of the University of Arkansas) wants to memorialize one of the college's basketball coaches, Nolan Richardson. OK, whatever (I'm not a big sports fan). The street they have chosen runs in front of Bud Walton Arena, the U of A's basketball arena. BUT that street has already been named for Leroy Pond, a WWII veteran and alumnus of the U of A. 

After some discussion, Leroy Pond's name will now grace Government Ave near the Fayetteville National Cemetery.  I just don't see why the city feels the need to change. Does this make me a bad person? Then again, Bill Clinton Blvd replaced California Blvd a few years ago. There's a Broyles Ave, but it's nowhere close to the U of A. 

I suppose I'm too much of a purist. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Motel Hell

Nearly two years ago, I spent the night at a little "hole in the wall" motel near Hazen, Arkansas (Travel Inn?). It was not a very good place: the air conditioning barely worked and the place was overall rather run down. I left a review spelling out the problems and today received a response Thank you for enlightening the issues you faced while your stay with us the upgradation is been made. Hope we soon.   WTF was that?

I've always favored the "independent" (aka Mom & Pop) motels because they are often cheaper than the chains. But I'm running out of luck trying to find something that's not on its last legs &/or caters to the fly by night crowd. 

I guess I'll have to bite the bullet and spend a little more. Either that, or find a KOA and sleep in the back of the van. 



Monday, January 11, 2021

There I Go Again

 Piddling around on e-bay, I came across the guy who made my US 666 sign a few months ago. He only had a few last time I ordered, but he still had a few left. So, what the Hell: no one remembered me at Christmas or New Years, so I'm going to do something for myself.  After wracking my brain for a while, I came up with US 471,

BUT US 471 never existed. There's IOWA 471 (a former alignment of US 71) and there was an ARKANSAS 471 for a few years, which became 71B (long story), but never US 471 (except for one Exit sign that posted it wrong in the late 1980's/early 1990's), so why not?

It's not full size, but only 12x12. I could have ordered 16x16 or 24x24, but that would have cost me $150+. This mini sign only cost me around $30 with shipping. If I keep ordering large signs, I'm going to start running out of wall space to hang them. 

I have one more signs on order, then that will likely be it until I can sell some of my SCA stuff.

Addendum: It appears I got the last sign. On e-bay he says "sold out".