Ahh, Texarkana. They say it is “twice as nice” but it is not “twice as many interstates nice” because I-49 is not here yet. Regardless of your maps, the freeway stretching south of Texarkana is signed only as AR 549. No “Future I-49″ signs here, no sir. Here it is, plus some AR 245 goodness.
Wed 30 May 2007
Fri 25 May 2007
On Sunday, we traveled to Philadelphia to do the tourist thing, parking the car on Front Street and hoofing it around downtown and the historic district. Here are a few photos from the afternoon:
The new Comcast Center skyscraper stands out from the Philadelphia skyline from all directions. This view is afforded along the Walt Whitman Bridge westbound (Interstate 76) on the approach to the main line toll plaza and Front Street/Interstate 95 off-ramps.
Broad Street (Pennsylvania 611) carries six lanes through the heart of Philadelphia northward to suburbs such as Willow Grove. Pennsylvania 611 follows all of the boulevard in either direction of the square at Philadelphia City Hall and the Broad Street Subway line travels below along the same alignment. Broad Street was once a part of U.S. 611 (north of Market Street) and Pennsylvania 291 (south of Market Street). This view looks north from City Hall.
Tue 22 May 2007
I scored a batch of 1950s-70s highway maps from the New Castle Flea Market in Delaware on Saturday, including a 1959 AAA Northeast Map that displays anÂ Interstate designation I have never seen before. When finding proposed designations, one has to use some skepticism, especially when not discovering such a route on any other maps. Maps are not always that accurate, and some changes such as proposed lines, designations, etc. are up to the discretion of the cartographer. However this particular find appears not only on the regional map, but also the Philadelphia city inset, and AAA out of Philadelphia appears to be the organization responsible for the inset, which adds to its potential validity. The scans below come from the 1959 AAA Map (click for larger):
Interstate 395 appears over what is the North-South Freeway (Interstate 76) on the Northeast Regional Map. We are aware that Interstate 76 was originally designated Interstate 80S through Philadelphia and Camden, but have never seen Interstate 395 on any stretch of the New Jersey freeway.
The reverse side of the map indicates the North-South Freeway as both Interstate 395 and New Jersey 42. New Jersey 42 is the North-South Freeway south of Interstate 295 and 76 still to this day. Interstate 395 was never signed as far as we know.
Sat 19 May 2007
SH 121 connects DFW airport and several large employment areas with Collin County, north of Dallas, TX. Collin County is the fastest growing county in the state and one of the top 5 fastest growing in the nation. As such, SH 121 is undergoing massive traffic strains. 15 years ago it was a bucolic 2 lane rural highway, and today it is a snarly mess with a regional mall on one side and a new urban center on the other. It’s also the center of a big legal battle. Here is a look at 121 through the years. Click for larger.
The Lewisville Bypass in 2004. This freeway section is now opened as America’s first open tolling solution. This is a new road constructed and planned for a while. Signs tell drivers “no tolltag? dont worry – we’ll bill you”. I don’t know if that’s innovative or scary.
Thu 17 May 2007
So, this is the Big Dig:
We all know about the big dig, and if you don’t, you’re a terrible roadgeek. The main thrust of the project was to take the ugly central artery and replace it with a tunnel beneath downtown. Where the central artery was, was to become a pretty urban park. Let’s see what is going on up on the surface….
(PS its very hard to take pictures in a tunnel!)
Sun 13 May 2007
With Federal Highway officials approval of environmental studies for the planned northward extension, ALDOT moves closer to the start of construction. Next week officials will hold an informal meeting on an associated project, the new Baldwin County 68 interchange with Interstate 10. Land has yet to be purchased for the interchange right of way, pending environmental approval from FHWA officials. However work on the new interchange should begin in early 2008 if all goes to plan.
Presently, Baldwin County 68 passes over Interstate 10 amid a pastoral setting of farm fields and tree stands. It is unclear what type of interchange will be built, but we surmise a standard diamond interchange. Photo taken June 7, 2006.
An additional hearing will take place next month on the Foley Beach Express extension. Slated to follow a north-south alignment along the Baldwin County 83 corridor, work on the first segment may commence in three to four months. The first segment entails new roadway from near the north end near Alabama 59 to Baldwin County 32 east of Summerdale.
Sun 13 May 2007
Lets take a look at Mass. Route 2 through north-central Massachusetts. Picture below is the French King bridge, which was originally constructed in 1932 to take Route 2 over the Connecticut River. The bridge takes its name from nearby French King Rock, which was in turn named by a French army officer during the French and Indian wars of the eighteenth century. The span opened September 10, 1932.
Thu 10 May 2007
Let’s take a quickie look at SR 146 from Providence, RI up to Worcester Mass. The pictures are from last weekend, when the New England spring was in full swing with budding dogwoods and hordes of people moving to Vermont.
Route 146 leaves Providence as a fairly major freeway. The six lanes give way to four just as the northern suburbs are at their peak. Route 146 has the distinction of being Rhode Island’s first divided highway, and was originally constructed way back in the 1940s. In RI, the ROW is fairly dense with the carriageways often separated by a simple guardrail.
Thu 10 May 2007
Construction on the destroyed US 90 bridge over the mouth of Biloxi Bay is proceeding at a rapid rate. I guess it takes a hurricane to whip the asses of the DOTs into gear. This photo from April of this year shows just how quickly the process is going. It’s not China-fast, but in terms of US road construction they are going fairly quickly. AAroads has updated road photos post-Katrina in both Mississippi and Louisiana on site, check them out!
Click for larger
Sun 6 May 2007
Overall the Intercounty Connector (ICC) represents a $2.4 billion project to build an 18-mile long toll road between Interstates 370 in Montgomery County and Interstate 95 in Prince Georges County, Maryland. After years of representing nothing more than just a dashed line on planning maps, the first leg of the (ICC) is set to become reality as construction begins this Summer on the first segment of roadway.