July 2006


I decided to take a break from my updates to U.S. 1 and the creation of Florida Keys guides on southeastroads.com to do a spot update on Upstate New York. So I created new guides for Interstate 590, the eastern half of the Outer Loop freeway at Rochester, New York, on North East Roads @ AARoads. Last year I had the opportunity to visit western New York on two occasions to visit family in the area. Both trips involved some “roading” to Rochester to document the freeways in town. I also documented portions of Interstate 86, U.S. 20, New York 15, and other roads in the Finger Lakes area. Until now, the only material from those trips online is found on interstate-guide.com and the Interstate 90 guides on northeastroads.com. As time permits, I hope to drastically improve the guides for Interstates 390 and 490 as time goes on.

Well it seems that I have been updating Interstate Guide, Interstate Guide, Interstate Guide. However, there is a light at the end of that tunnel. With the recent completion of Interstate 27 and Interstate 110 in Texas (as well as a picture of an 80 mph speed limit sign in West Texas on Interstate 20, sorry Kevin), it seems like the next stage is to update some photos on some Interstates from Florida, and then it will be time to get back to the Golden State of California, working on the Riverside County desert areas. However, I am open to other ideas. Another concept would be to create pages that depict the remaining sections of I-8, I-10, and I-19 in Arizona. I could also shift over to Northern California, working on a recent trip to the redwoods. Please email me at afield#aaroads.com and let me know what you want to see next. And no, I am not driving to Illinois to photograph I-39, I-88, and I-90 for a roadtrip page. While I would love to do that (and many other Midwestern Highways), we have far more coverage to share from the West, Northeast, and Southeast. (You could say that one of my frequently asked questions is why we don’t have roadtrip pages for Midwestern States. That could be done, but then I’d have to live in Illinois, Iowa, or Indiana.) So in the meantime, let me know what you think should be done next!

As I slowly attack my backlog of photos, I’ve added some more pics from US 59 in Houston, as well as a roadmap from 1972.

LoneStarRoads has not made it out to West Texas to see the 80 MPH Speed Limit (trust me, I want to). On IH-10, the 80 MPH speed limit applies from El Paso County (approximately mile 61) to Kerr County (approximately mile 520).

 On IH-20, the 80 MPH limit applies from IH-10 to Pyote (approximately mile 65).

More and more signs are being replaced with new ones in Clearview.

Belgium has been updated, with some new pages on the Brussels Ring Road, and the B401 spur freeway into Ghent. Check it out.

The E19 R0 stack

Well it’s finally come together, the AARoads Blog. I’ve always wanted a forum for the site, but finding someone to help us set it up, let alone trying to figure it out ourselves, has been tedious at best, so we gave up on the concept. A few months ago Justin posed the idea of instead creating a blog, similar to the ones he had at tropicalturnpikes.com and bayciti.net. Both Andy and I agreed that the concept sounded good, and with Justin’s help, we’ve turn it into reality.

So here it is, the AARoads blog, a place to read about current and future roadtrips, about page updates, major road news, our thoughts, about potential new web endeavors, and other site news.

We’ve all heard of U.S. 50 in Nevada as the loneliest road in America (even though some might argue that certain other federal highways in Nevada — such as U.S. 6 or U.S. 93 — are more deserving of this title), and we all know that one of the busiest freeways in the country is Interstate 10/Santa Monica Freeway just west of downtown Los Angeles. However, did you know that only 140 miles north of downtown Los Angeles lies a highway that can gain the mantle of busiest and loneliest two-lane highway in the state? The highway I am talking about is California 58, which is busy as any freeway (including the two-lane sections near U.S. 395) between California 99 and Interstate 15. But the section of California 58 west of Interstate 5, especially west of McKittrick, takes the opposite prize: loneliest. On a recent summer evening around 4:30-5:00 p.m., California 58 eastbound from California 229 to California 33 was so empty of cars that I only passed 11 in the other direction… a distance of nearly 70 miles! No other state highway in California carries less traffic for that great distance in my journeys… and trust me, I’ve driven quite a few state routes in California. Even the routes in Death Valley carried more traffic, as do many county routes in the Central Valley. While the central section of California 58 through the Carrizo Plain is long and straight as an arrow, the mountains on either side of it offer some winding, twisting driving that probably keeps the average driver from enjoying this desolate yet beautiful stretch of road. For the hardy, California 58 is a winner. If you are eager to see photos of California 58, write me, and I’ll think about moving it higher on the priority list. Cheers!

I cull through the Delaware News Journal’s online website almost every day looking for road related stories for the website and for my personal interest in my former state. One was posted today about Interstate 95 and its growing congestion and lack of money to upgrade the ailing interchange with Delaware 1 and the bottleneck at the Interstate 295 split.

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060709/NEWS/60709005/1006

The article just says the same thing that is said all the time about Interstate 95. The road is bad, improvements are needed, but there is no money, and nothing is going to happen in the immediate future. The multimedia section however has some video from Deldot of I-95′s construction, and there’s some neat stuff in there including a sign that displays “Interstate 295 to U.S. 13 – New Jersey Wilmington” and a mileage sign that displays both Baltimore and Washington. Seeing I-295 with a control point of Wilmington is a first for me and I’ve never ever seen Washington as a control point in Delaware.
Also on the flash video are some scenes of Delaware Turnpike toll plazas which look strikingly similar to those built on the SR 1 Turnpike in the 1990s. DelDOT still uses the same bridge support design as the spans built during the 1960s for Interstate 95, and one sign in the video was still in place as of 2004, the Maryland 279 – one mile guide sign along southbound in Newark. See some screen shots below: (more…)

I-15 in Arizona has been completely resigned. The changes noted:

  • Exit 9 is now “Desert Springs” instead of Farm Road.
  • An increase in the number of distance signs. There are at least 3 distance signs each way pointing to St. George, Cedar City and Salt Lake northbound – southbound to Cedar Pocket, Mesquite, and Las Vegas.
  • The advance signs for Business Loop 15 in Mesquite on southbound I-15 are now all ADOT standard, and not placed by NvDOT.
  • Utah’s I-15 signs look just as bad as they ever did around St. George. The new exit, exit 13 (Washington Parkway) is now open.

Oklahoma is getting new state road signs, in anticipation of the state’s centennial in 2007. (more…)

My first trip through New Orleans in 2006 occurred in early January on a cross-country voyage along Interstate 10. I was quite stunned with the devastation that took place in the Big Easy (it looked as bad as it was portrayed in TV), but had little sunlight to work with as far as road photography went. So I returned to Southeast Louisiana on June 10th to redocument the freeways for the website.

This is how the frontage along Interstate 10 eastbound in New Orleans East looked in January

The areas of New Orleans East resembled a post-apocolyptic landscape and were vastly the same between January and June, meaning recovery is slow if at all there. From the abandoned Six Flags theme park to the gutted Sam’s Club and Walmarts and darkened street lights, the area remains very bleak almost 9 months removed from Hurricane Katrina’s August 29, 2005 landfall. The freeways meanwhile are all open to traffic at full capacity; even the I-10 twin spans carry two lanes in each direction. Some signs of the hurricane are visible in the form of damaged or missing signs, bent street lamps, and water line stains on the sound walls near the Jefferson Parish line.

Katrina’s wrath is still quite evident along Interstate 10 westbound through New Orleans East in June of 2006.
See the freeways for yourself at at http://www.southeastroads.com/louisiana.html

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