AARoads contributor Chris Kalina traveled through the Memphis area on Saturday March 8th and took a look at progress for construction of Interstate 269, the Memphis outer beltway. Work is underway along the entire corridor from Interstates 55 & 69 east to Tennessee 385 (Bill Morris Parkway) at Collierville.

Tennessee is scheduled to complete their portion of I-269 by 2015, with work continuing through northern Mississippi until 2018.1 A great overview of current construction and the planned alignment for the freeway is available at the DeSoto County, Mississippi GIS Viewer.

Bridge supports and decking takes shape at an future overpass for McIngvale Road above the eventual mainline of Interstates 22 & 269, east of Interstate 55.


The first of several construction projects encountered yesterday involves widening of Interstate 75 through Lee County, Florida, including the 1.6-mile project to expand the Caloosahatchee River. The $72-million project kicked off here in January 2013 and runs through fall of 2015. Construction is part of the final phase to expand all 33 miles of I-75 through Lee County to six lanes.1

Ten miles or so further south is the $54.1-million project to construct a new trumpet interchange joining Interstate 75 with Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) directly. The I-75 -> Airport Direct Connect project commenced in fall 2012. Work includes the addition of a collector/distributor roadway along both sides of the freeway, tying in ramps for the Terminal Access Road extension with the adjacent Alico Road ramps.2

Also included in the work slated to run until spring 2015 is an overpass for the Airport Access Road above parallel Treeline Avenue / Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. A half-diamond interchange will provide local access to the airport from the surface arterial.2


these photos are from the afternoon of the fifth day, and then all of the sixth. we do normal tourist stuff like get a hotel, exchange money, that sort of thing – and head north in Argentina to attempt to cross the border at Chile Chico.

the Andes, mostly in Chile here.

old signs in Bajo Caracoles. this used to be highway 40; now it is a barely recognizable dirt track, but still it got a new number.

here is Lago Buenos Aires, near the Chile border. on the other side, it’s called Lago General Carrera. here is approximately where we stop for the night, after we get to the border just a few minutes after it has closed.


the fifth day consisted of the hike to the Mirador, then back down the hill, and on the road to El Calafate, Argentina.

The Mirador view!

Vegetation in infrared.

Flores del Paine.


and now, a brief interruption. some photos from this previous weekend.

The Bay Bridge has had lights attached to it. It’s tough to tell from here, but they actually move in patterns. Well worth seeing in person. The lights will stay for the next two years, and can only be seen from the San Francisco side.

That other bridge that San Francisco is famous for. This is the view from Marin County. Not too much traffic on the bridge around midnight.

No bridge to be seen here; this is the view north from the Marin Headlands viewpoint. Angel Island is on the right, and Tiburon and Richmond are in the background.

The first part of our hike – up the hill to the campground where we would stay the night.

Typical afternoon scenery. A narrow trail that climbs gradually.

The sort of trees we’d see much of.


these photos are from the morning of the fourth day, in which we drive – again! – the road from the west end of the park to the east end. then, we make a run for gasoline (all the way back to Natales!) and prepare for a hike.

The Salto Grande waterfall. Why is the photo slightly murky-looking? Because of all the mist flying around in the air. We walked down to an old bridge abutment, and climbed it to take photos directly into the wind for several minutes.

Reverse Martian look at the Cuernos in the morning.

A day of bright colors.

And here we have the Torres del Paine! This is about the clearest they got this day – usually they are shrouded in fog.


in which we are actually inside the Torres del Paine national park.

here, we drive the main road to the other end, and back. mainly we’re scouting for a place to sleep, to catch optimal sunrise, and also seeing how long the road would take, as we’re planning to do a hike starting at the other end the next day.

A rainbow, in one of the few flat parts of the park.

Highly variable weather this day.

Serious guanaco is serious.

This is the sort of thing we flew to South America for.

Quarter moon over the park.


this day is spent entirely in Chile. we head to Puerto Natales, and plan a run to Torres del Paine at our friend Roberto’s house. After getting some useful advice, we head north to the park.

The Catholic Church in downtown Natales, on a Tuesday morning.

The view from Casa Roberto. The light was a bit wonky (shooting into the sun!) so I took a bunch of infrared photos.

Southern caracara, in front of the famous Cuernos of the Torres del Paine area. We will see much more of these mountains in the next several days!

Lago Grey, with the Cuernos behind it.


Our first full day in Patagonia. Here, we make the dash down to Ushuaia, the furthest-south city on the South American road network.

An old bridge at sunrise. The deck is entirely missing; a helpful sign points out that the bridge is, indeed, deteriorated.

Fog in Garibaldi Pass, between Tolhuin and Ushuaia.

The kaiken, or upland goose. They are almost always seen in pairs. I took this photo in infrared, because that is the camera I happened to have in my hands at the time.

This is a guanaco. We will see much more over the course of our trip. They are most plentiful on Tierra del Fuego, due to the absence of their only predator: the puma. (aka mountain lion, aka cougar; they’re the same animal all over North and South America)

Between the plains and the mountains of Tierra del Fuego is this forest.


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