North America


Day 2 of the whirlwind trip took us around the Shreveport freeway system, northward along new Interstate 49 to Arkansas, around Texarkana on the new I-369 and AR 549 freeways, and northeast to a revisit of the Little Rock Interstates. Meandering southeastward, we crossed the doomed Clarendon Bridge over the White River toward U.S. 49 through Helena-West Helena into Mississippi. Zigzagging southward, we ended up in Vicksburg.

Interstate 220 provides a through route bypass of Shreveport, traveling 17.62 miles through northern reaches of the city. The freeway utilizes a long viaduct over Cross Lake, which was the last facet of roadway to open for the route. Construction on the span commenced in January 1984, and it was originally slated for completion in 1986. Delays pushed back the opening date until April 10, 1989.1

A 1987 Shreveport inset from a Gousha atlas shows the Cross Lake bridge for Interstate 220 still under construction.

Interstate 220 east over Cross Lake. The bridge features a unique drainage system, where water flows toward the center of the span. Collected water departs a central pipe system for a concrete holding pond at the north side of the lake. This drainage method protects Cross Lake from chemicals and other pollutants. Cross Lake is the source of Shreveport’s drinking water.1

The east end of Interstate 220 consists of a half-built directional cloverleaf interchange with six stubs left over from an unconstructed extension southeast through Barksdale Air Force Base.

Grading for a loop ramp from unconstructed I-220 west to I-20 west is evident. Our 2008 blog post on Interstate 49 in Louisiana referenced a possible extension of the I-220 freeway southeast to the planned corridor of Interstate 69.

(more…)

Took Interstate 10 westbound from Northwest Florida to Lake Charles, Louisiana, then U.S. 171 north to Shreveport. Redocumented all of I-10 west to Lafayette, all of I-12 west, Interstates 110 and 210. Took new coverage of I-10 west to Lake Charles and all of U.S. 171 north toward Shreveport as well as photographing the south ends of U.S. 165 and 171.

The first construction of note on the day is the building of a diamond interchange with the north end of the Baldwin Beach Express (County Road 83). Work is expected to run through October of this year.

The ramps are partially paved and a new overpass is in place for the extension of County Road 83. Additionally, two lanes of the future four-lane roadway are open with two-way traffic between the I-10 overpass and County Road 64 to the south. The four-lane corridor leading south beyond U.S. 90 is not yet open to traffic, but nearly ready with base pavement already complete.

The future westbound off-ramp to County Road 83 / Baldwin Beach Express south. The 2015 Rand McNally atlas shows this interchange as open with the exit number of 49.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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

(more…)

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.

Dan B. and I took a trip to South America a few weeks ago. Here are the photos from Mexico City, where I stayed overnight and for one afternoon in transit, and also the flight from Santiago to Punta Arenas, Chile.


The volcano Ixtlazihuatl. Or Iztaccihuatl? Wikipedia gives one spelling; the highway signs another. In any case, it is the third-highest peak in Mexico, at 17160 feet. The peak appeared for a total of maybe 45 seconds and I was quite fortunate to get this shot. It’s the only mountain I saw in the Mexico City area – Popocatepetl, several miles to the south, remained hidden by clouds the whole time.


Monte Fitzroy, Argentina. I took the color out of this photo when I realized that the best way to cut through all the haze was to just start with only the green channel of the original photo. We will see this mountain from somewhat closer as one of our primary destinations on our trip.

(more…)

The Crosstown Connector, an elevated toll road that will link Interstate 4 with the parallel Florida Toll 618 (Leroy Selmon Crosstown Expressway) and the Port of Tampa, is under construction presently. With work starting on March 1, 2010, major progress is underway with flyovers nearing completion above both the I-4 mainline and the Crosstown. The tentative completion date is set for late 2013. We passed through the north end of the $400 million project yesterday and took these photographs:

The main flyovers at the north end join Interstate 4 east from the left-hand side with the Connector southbound and the Connector northbound with the left-hand side of Interstate 4 west.

The toll gantry appears above the future Connector mainline viaduct in this southward scene from Interstate 4 east. All tolls will be collected electronically using the Sunpass or toll by plate tolling.

Stubs exist at the north ends of the Crosstown Connector mainline.

A left-hand ramp will depart from Interstate 4 in this westbound scene for the Crosstown Connector southbound.

Traffic from the Connector northbound will join Interstate 4 west after the CSX Railroad under crossing.

the last part of our northwest trip. These are all from Washington; primarily the Bellingham area.


The only state-named shield we found north of Seattle. It’s in Bellingham.


Smoky sunset in Bellingham. Fires in the Ellensburg, about 150 miles to the southwest.


The smoke yields some unusually deep colors.


Rocket Donuts in downtown Bellingham features this rocket in front of the building.


A 1950s Chevrolet sits rusting by the side of old US-99, somewhere just north of Marysville.

(more…)


Moose in the morning.


The leaves are changing color.


This – and the 1 mile advance sign just to the north – are the only button copy signs I know of in Alaska.


Heading back down to Anchorage. I made this photo black and white because there just wasn’t all that much color to begin with!

(more…)

after the Arctic Circle, we head south and then west to Manley Hot Springs, before returning to Anchorage.


The Dalton Highway is numbered 11 – but there are very few signs for it.


Ducking between clouds for sunset.


And here’s the northern lights, from Manley Hot Springs!

(more…)

Next Page »