On The Road

WV-OH-KY Trip – Day 1 (Dothan, AL through Canton, GA)

Road news and notes from the first day of a six-day drive from the Gulf Coast to Cleveland and back.

Traveling the Ross Clark Circle around Dothan, pictured here is the approach of the U.S. 84 west and U.S. 431 northbound split. The city of Dothan has sought a freeway for years, but none remains planned. The circle is typical of an older bypass around an Alabaman city. Access is not controlled and commercial development and signalized intersections are too numerous.

Looking south at progress on the Glenwood bypass of U.S. 431 in southern Russell County, Alabama. The new four-lane alignment should be completed later this fall, bring U.S. 431 to four overall lanes between Phenix City and Dothan, Alabama.

A 2008-09 project added a new folded diamond interchange to the U.S. 80 freeway between Phenix City, Alabama and Columbus, Georgia with Riverchase Drive. This exit opens up land along the Chattahoochee River for development and provides an additional north-south corridor into Phenix City via 5th Avenue.

Interstate 185 is designated a Scenic Byway by GDOT from Exit 12 northward to the northern terminus at Interstate 85. Trailblazers for the scenic route line the freeway after each on-ramp.

Widening of Interstate 85 currently extends the six lane portion of freeway southward all the way to Exit 35 from to the previous expanding point of near Exit 51 (Georgia 154). The $374-million project started in Fall 2006 and was completed by August 2010.

Ramp meters began to appear on Atlanta area freeways in 1996 and again in 2005. Wholesale installation and usage of them did not begin in earnest until 2008. They now stretch as far south as Interstate 85 Exit 61, with plans to extend their usage southward to Peachtree City. Ramp meters are in use along Interstate 285, Interstate 85 in Gwinnett County, Interstate 75, Interstate 575, Interstate 20, Georgia 400, and U.S. 78 in Dekalb County. GDOT provides a list and schedule of their usage here.

GDOT, like WSDOT, posts exit numbers within an overall guide sign, separating the Exit XX portion with a horizontal bar from the control points or destinations. A Georgia oddity is attached to the refurbished Georgia 280 overpass above Interstate 285 north (inner loop). Posted here is the one-mile sign for South Atlanta Road with a separate exit tab. This replaced a traditional GDOT sign and may very well be the only external exit tab in the state. The half-mile guide sign for Exit 16 that followed is missing as of September 28, 2010.

Some dynamic message signs posted in the Atlanta metropolitan area are now posting travel times. This particular assembly resides along Interstate 575 north ahead of Exit 3 (Chastain Road).

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One thought on “WV-OH-KY Trip – Day 1 (Dothan, AL through Canton, GA)

  1. Steve

    Alex,

    Great photos, dude!

    BTW, GDOT has placed several new tabbed exit signs along I-75/85 downtown, I-85 just northeast of the Brookwood interchange, and a couple along I-985 at the upgraded GA 53 and new GA 13 interchanges.

    It’s interesting that the new US 80 overhead sign in Alabama does not have “TO I-185” on it and lists “Columbus, Ga.” instead of just “Columbus”.

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