AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Max's Roads Southeast  (Read 871 times)

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Max's Roads Southeast
« on: May 10, 2017, 02:48:42 PM »

The time has finally come to open this thread up for the Southeast.  Currently I'm in the air flying from Denver to Tampa and I'll be out in the Southeast region for the next days roughly.  I have about 2,700 miles planned on this trip which is looping from Tampa through; Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  I have some really nice stuff in the plans like US 98 in the Florida Panhandle, US 129 through Deal's Gap, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and even US 1 down in the Keys.  I'm looking forward seeing some of the old places and infrastructure that I used to traverse through...expect lots of photo links just in the Pacific South West thread.  If anyone has any input on some decent stuff to go see, I'm all ears.

I was actually delayed two hours in Denver due to a faulty parking brake.  I was able to get some really cool pictures today flying from Fresno over the Sierra, Great Basin, and Rockies.  I got lucky and was over the wing on my first flight, I'm not sure how the second will work out.  Here are some of the highlights:

The CA 41 freeway looking southbound towards downtown Fresno.

IMG_6664 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Way above the Minarets Range in the Sierras approaching the Great Basin Desert.  US 395 runs through the valley below and Mono Lake can be seen in the distance.  There is even a glimpse of CA 158/June Lake Loop kinda in the middle:

IMG_6683 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

US 395 can be seen better in this picture near Crowley Lake at the bottom right of the photo.  CA 203 is behind the ridge line extending out into the desert:

IMG_6687 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

White Mountain Summit which is the 14,200 something peak of the White Mountain Range east of the Sierras and Owens Valley.  US 6 runs the western flank of this range where it dips into Nevada and cuts east:

IMG_6693 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

High above the junction of US 6 where it meets US 95 in Nevada at a ghost town called Coaldale:

IMG_6695 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project north of Tonopah, Nevada. 

IMG_6697 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, CO 347 can be seen climbing to the south rim.  Apparently this is the 5th mountain descent in the United States:

IMG_6703 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

Things got substantially more cloudy east to Front Range and Denver:

IMG_6710 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

I've never really tried to get aerial photographs before but I knew the terrain pretty well and gave it a go.  The whole thing is located here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWgnUt8
 
The clouds were pretty bad over Denver but seem to be clearing up over the plains states.  I'm hoping to get some Tampa/St. Pete area stuff before the sun gets to settling down tonight, namely FL 589/Sun Coast Parkway.  I'll probably just do a link with the photos given the album sizes are going to be large along with observations going forward into this.

Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 09:44:06 PM »

Made it to my destination for the evening.  Had a decent clearing in the clouds for aerials of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, downtown New Orleans, I-10, US 11, and even LA 23 through the Mississippi River Delta:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWhwgpe

Same deal with aerials of the Tampa Bay area.  I managed some decent captures of; US 19, FL 60/Courtney Campbell Causeway, I-275/Howard Franklin Bridge, US 92/Gandy Bridge, and downtown St. Petersburg.  The Howard Franklin was already backing up at FL 60/FL 589 when I was landing:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVkxkuC

I ended up taking about 40 miles of FL 589.  The toll-by-plate gantries were a huge help mitigating the rush hour traffic that used to be a nightmare during the weekdays.  There was still a back up at Water Ave pretty much up through to Hutchison Road due to the drop from six lanes to four.  I guess that I'm really disappointed that after all these years that 589 isn't at least six laned north to at least FL 568 if not FL 54.  Lots of shield pics to be had of the State Roads and County Routes, I noticed some new "Veterans Expressway/Suncoast Parkway" placards under the FL 589 shields:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskUQGJXg

Logged

jwolfer

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1517
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Last Login: Today at 01:01:56 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2017, 12:55:11 AM »

Thanks for the pics.

LGMS428

Logged

Alex

  • Webmaster
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4650
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Last Login: May 24, 2017, 03:45:07 PM
    • AARoads
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2017, 08:45:45 AM »

Welcome back to Tampa. Not sure what piques your interest the most. Old road stuff or new construction. But in the Tampa area, I-275 was greatly expanded between Ashley Drive and Westshore just last year. You saw the Veterans Expwy, which is still undergoing a long term project to both widen and add express (double toll) lanes. All of the US 19 freeway upgrade is finally complete in Pinellas. FL 694 is currently being upgraded to an elevated roadway from just east of I-275 to US 92 (4th St N) in St Pete. Plus there is early work on the Gateway Express (FL 690) toll road project from CR 296 (118th St N) to PIE Airport in Clearwater.

For old stuff, there is not a lot in Tampa Bay. All of the old Keys shields are well to the north in Suwannee and Hamilton. There's one colored set of shields in Davenport and a faded yellow US 17 in Winter Haven. There's also a faded yellow 301 set in Ellenton down in Manatee and keys shields for 64 and 789 out on Anna Maria Island.

For old alignments, a few straggler sections are up in Hernando. Nothing really comes to mind as far as completely abandoned stuff near here, but much further north, there is a truss bridge along old US 90 at the Suwannee River.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2017, 11:55:22 AM »

Thanks, actually you have any map links for the stuff up in Suwannee County?  There is a small chance I might swing that way maybe returning from the Carolinas.  Funny you should mention Hernado County since I did a whole bunch of it today but I'll hit on that later when I upload my photos to Flickr. 

I might have to swing by U.S. 19 on the return trip from the Keys next week if the freeway is finished since I'll be using the Skyway Birdge.  I think that I have some photos of I-275 being reconstructed, weird to see and hear about some of these projects finally being completed or getting close. 

I'm heading up to through Panhandle tomorrow via US 98.  I guess for now I'm just checking out all the old stuff that I used to go like to see or drive on.  It is pretty surreal seeing the following:

-  Water and greenery everywhere as opposed to just brown.
-  So many people packed pretty much everywhere. 
-  Way higher signage standards and shields everywhere
-  Way more Counry and FHP patrols than back out west.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2017, 04:53:44 PM »

   Did some local stuff mostly around Hernando County starting with a quick stop at the ruins of the Brooksville Army Airfield which is now part of the Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport on CR 574:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskUTBgPa

   The Brooksville Army Airfield was open from 1942 (I think, it could have been 1940) to 1945 and was a sub-command of the Orlando Army Air Base which is now where the Orlando Executive Airport is located.  The Brooksville base was primarily used for bomber pilot training and was transferred to Hernando County at the end of WWII.  Apparently the name change stated above happened back in 2013 and it was originally called Hernando County Airport.

   Believe it or not there is actually hilly terrain in Florida and some really worthwhile county roads to try a drive on.  There are a couple near Brooksville that have some really nice views and some decent turns.  In particular I did CR 572 east of US 41, part of CR 541, and all of CR 576:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWjfW7z

   There is a trac of land east of the Florida Panhandle which is called the Ocala Platform.  Essentially a good chunk of the elevation above 200 feet in Peninsular Florida is located on the Ocala Platform.  There is a sub-section known as the Brooksville Ridge which has a bunch of steep hills which leads to some pretty interesting routings and heavy grades.  I would speculate that CR 41 in Pasco County has the largest grade followed by CR 572/Powell Road.  CR 572 has been around for quite a long time as it can be seen as a well maintained roadway even back in the mid-1930s:

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/maps/pages/700/f756/f756z.htm

   What I find interesting about that map is that during the 1930s US 19 essentially multiplexed US 41 through Hernando County before cutting west on what is now FL 52 back to the coast.  The routing of modern CR 572 shows a rail siding on the Sealine Air Line Railway called Powell Station which no longer exists....Powell essentially is just a glorified RV park in modern times.  There are some pretty crazy turns on CR 572 but nothing quite as bad as CR 576 to the south.

   CR 541 in Hernando County along with CR 41 were once part of FL 41, I have no idea when both were bumped down to county status.  The 1936 map above shows CR 541/CR 41 as State Route 34 before the 1945 renumbering.  Really it is a worthwhile route with the exceptions that there is heavy traffic for a rural road to Dade City and the Hernando County Sheriff loves to tag people for speeding going to fast on the grade south of Spring Lake.

   The real fun road on the Brooksville Ridge CR 576, especially between CR 541 and CR 581.  CR 576 runs on Ayers Road and Hayman Road, the latter is the crazy part.  Hayman Road is very narrow, has a ton of farm trucks on it, and several 90 degree turns that are pretty sudden.  It would seem that Hernando County has taken it upon themselves to install electronic advisory speed signs to deter people from taking the corners too fast.  The alignment of CR 576 essentially is the same as it is on the above 1936 map with the exception that it used Old Ayers Road to reach US 41/19 instead of the modern highway. 

   I wanted to see some old coastline locations and scope out an old section of the Dixie Highway so I cut across Hernando County on County Line Road/CR 584 to reach US 19 south.  To reach the dirt section of the Old Dixie Highway which goes from Aripeka to Hudson you need to use CR 595 which loops from US 19 in Pasco County up to Spring Hill Drive.  I'm fairly certain that the West Dixie Highway cut inland on a loop road to Brooksville and used parts of what is now Spring Hill Drive to access modern CR 595.  Really the alignment can sort of be seen on the above 1936 map and on this 1917 Map of Hernando County:

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/maps/pages/1100/f1140/f1140.htm

Edit:  It would seem that I was correct about the rough alignment of the Tampa-St Petersburg Dixie Highway Loop.  It would also seem that the Old Tampa Highway I mentioned in the Brick Highway thread was the Mainline West Dixie Highway:

https://web.archive.org/web/20140424201750/http://www.us-highways.com/dixiehwyl.htm#tspl

   When I last lived in Florida you couldn't drive Old Dixie Highway from Hudson to Aripeka, but it seems now that you can because there are no road closure sign that used to be present.  I've driven about half of the route and it was a pretty decently graded dirt road and I speculated that the closure was due to the phosphate mine along the coast.  I didn't want to get too chancy with a rental car so I just cut north to Aripeka instead which is a little fishing village from the 1870s which used to be entirely in Hernando County before Pasco split which put parts in both.  I cut north off of CR 595 onto CR 597, but as stated previously I'm fairly certain that all of 595 is the West Dixie Highway from Spring Hill Drive to the coastal split south of Aripeka.

   Another oddity I uncovered in looking at some of my maps is that I believe the Old Dixie Highway and CR 595 used to also carry US 19 for awhile before Commercial Way was built.  I base that assumption off the 1939 and 1940 Florida State Maps which seems to show such an alignment via a shift of US 19 from modern FL 52 north to modern FL 50:

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~281130~5515450:Road-map-of-Florida?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:florida%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=2&trs=8

http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~281130~5515450:Road-map-of-Florida?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=q:florida%2Bhighways;sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=2&trs=8

   CR 597 isn't really too much to get excited about other than the views of the coastal marshes.  CR 597 passes through Hernando Beach Weekie Wachee Gardens so the speed limit tends to stay pretty low, it doesn't help that some of the roadway appears to be on a causeway style road.   CR 550 on the otherhand has an interesting back story in that it was once part of FL 50, although I have no idea when it was turned over to Hernando County.  CR 550 goes all the way to the coast at the Bayport ghost town site and follows the convention that the county seems to like by not just leaving the original number in the County Route but adding a 4XX or 5XX depending if it north or south of FL 50.

   Bayport itself is an interesting place although there isn't much left to see.  Apparently Bayport was settled in the 1850s and was something of a major local port kind of like Cedar Key until rail service made it to Brooksville.  There is some foundations I believe to be part of the old docks, some old cracker houses (yes that's a thing), and the remains of an apparent street grid outside the county park.   The original street grid of Bayport can be seen on ghosttowns.com below:

http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/fl/bayport.html

   The Pine Island Causeway is listed as CR 495 and I'm not sure if it was ever a state route.  The Causeway can be seen on the maps above from 1936, 1939, and 1940 but I'm not sure how long it has really has been around.   An interesting twist to the Pine Island Causeway is that it seems that back in the 1930s that it used Bayou Drive which would have gone through what was downtown Bayport.  Bayou Drive is a extremely narrow two-way street as these two pictures will attest to.

1 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_6956 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

   Funny how nervous the other drivers in Florida tend to get on narrow single lane roads, I guess that I'm used to it from California.  Before I forget, here is the link for all the coastal stuff I just described:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/M80L0e

   Anyways, it is almost all the US 98 corridor tomorrow up the Panhandle almost all the way..but not quite to Pensacola.  If anyone has some locations on Color or Keys Shields please let me know since there is likely a pretty good chance that I'll be passing near one.  Any old alignments and bridgework in the Panhandle is something I'm really looking for as well.   Also if there is any good map sources from the late 1940s and early 1950s after the renumbering they would be really helpful.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2017, 06:11:57 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2017, 04:36:26 PM »

Finished the rest of FL 589 and updated the album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskUQGJXg

I have about 400 something pictures of US 98 from FL 589 to FL 293.  I want to say at LEAST half are shield pics...really it is something stupid huge.  That one will take substantially longer to sort and upload but it should be up either tonight or tomorrow some time.  Now I remember why I didn't really particularly drive US 98 over I-10 all that frequently.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2017, 09:07:16 PM »

Today's activities on US 98 in the Panhandle can be seen here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZvsK31

Here is the cornball description I put on my Facebook link to the Flickr album:

"Did 350 miles of US 98 from the end of FL 589 north of Brooksville to FL 293 in Destin, apparently that was worth 341 pictures...including about 200 highway shields.  I chose US 98 for the stopping points that I-75 and I-10 really lack

Gulf Hammock

-   Essentially an abandoned rail siding of the Atlantic Coast Railroad in Levy County.  The Atlantic Coast Line ran a spur along US 19/98 which I believe was abandoned in the 1950s?  The northbound lanes offer some decent looks at the old rail grade and bridge work.

Otter Creek

-   A lumber town which was the second largest city in Levy County during the 1930s and 1940s.  Basically even though Otter Creek is still incorporated it basically is a ghost town.

Hampton Springs

-   A famous hotel and resort in Taylor County during the early 20th century which featured a sulphur pool.  The hotel burned down in 1954 and was never rebuilt.

Ocklockonee Bay and Bridge

-   The mouth of the Ocklocknee River which runs south out of Georgia into the Gulf in Florida.  The Ocklockonee Bay Bridge is a large span carrying US 98 and is part of the Big Bend Coastal Scenic Byway which runs mostly along US 98 through the Florida Panhandle from Newport to Apalachicola.

Crooked River light

-   A lighthouse in use in Franklin County from 1895 to 1995. 

FL 300/Old and New St. George Island Bridges

-   The new bridge is part of FL 300 and was opened in 2004 when the old bridge was replaced.  The new St. George Island Bridge is 4.1 miles long and largely resembles (at least I think so) Seven Mile Bridge on US 1 in the Florida Keys.   The previous bridge was opened in 1965, prior to that time ferry service was the only way to access St. George Island by car.

St. George Island and Light

-   A twenty eight mile island directly off the coast of the Florida Panhandle in Franklin County.   The current lighthouse was built in 1852 and replaced the original 1833 light which was damaged in hurricanes.

John Gorrie Memorial Bridge

-   The modern bridge has been in place since 1988 which replaced the original span which opened in 1935.  Prior to the bridge being opened both US 98 and US 319 advance towards a ferry which carried traffic from Eastport over Apalachicola Bay to the town of Apalachicola.   Neither US 98 or 319 is an original 1926 route since both were created in 1933.  For whatever reason US 319 has always multiplexed US 98 south to Apalachicola Bay where it used to terminate at the ferry.  This has led to the oddity where US 319 now dead ends in the middle of an active highway route.   Originally US 98 would have terminated at Apalachicola Bay as it only ran from Pensacola until 1952 when it was extended east Palm Beach.

George G Tapper Bridge

-    A bridge in Gulf County carrying US 98 over the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway, I thought it had a near Army Corps of Engineers Sign.

Dupont Bridge

-   A bridge carrying US 98 from Tyndall Air Force Base over East Bay.  The bridge looks somewhat modern and I have no idea what might have been in place prior."


Really I wanted a scenic drive and I would probably rate US 98 pretty high up there for coastal drives....maybe only behind US 1 in Florida.  Here is my route observations for today in non-generalized speak:

-  This wasn't really apparent to me when I lived here but good god FDOT really has an obsession with slow speed limits.  Seriously almost every major junction drops about 10 MPH and it takes forever to get it back.  There was so many segments of highway today that were 45 MPH and should have been at LEAST 55 MPH if not 60 MPH. 
-  I'm not imaging this...Florida drivers are extremely slow.  I can probably chalk that up a good chunk of the population being elderly.  I'm blowing the doors off people going 5 MPH over and from stop lights. 
-  FDOT and Counties sure love signage no matter the variety.  With almost no exceptions there was plenty of warning that junction with a signed route was coming up due to the junction signs that almost always appear within 500 feet of the actual junction.  There is plenty of "reduced speed" ahead signs and really anything else you could want for traffic control.  The County Signage is incredibly consistent pretty much everywhere but some states really need to replace some faded shields.  The almost all white State Road shields are holding up extremely well even in the boonies.
-  I really did take a ton of shield pics...plenty to keep me in the "Take it yourself Challenge" well into the 500s now.  Should be interesting how many holes I can fill up on the way back to Tampa.
-  The section of US 19/98 from Crystal River north to Chiefland is one of the more lonely parts of the highway system that carries US Route designations.  There is hardly any drivers beyond commercial truckers in the area which made looking for abandoned rail grades easier to do.  I'm surprised the state honestly hasn't revoked Otter Creek's charter at this point.  Really it is a nice segment of road that I tend to favor heavily as a short cut to I-10 that is way more relaxed.
-  US 98 isn't too bad until you get to Apalachicola.  West from there the road gets crazy busy, especially in Panama City and Destin.  I know the tourists are probably inflating the traffic figures but the volume of cars might merit a higher grade of expressway than currently exists or outright freeway?  It was weird seeing FL 30 actually signed on US 98 in one spot....seems like that was an error.  Even stranger to see how many likely former alignments of US 98 were obvious with all the FL 30, CR 30, FL 30a, and CR 30a shields out there...guess I really never cared to notice before now?
-  How is US 319 managing to still end in Apalachicola Bay after all this time? That is so weird to see the route just suddenly end in the middle of US 98.
-  This was the first time that I've been over the new St. George Island Bridge on FL 300, it is pretty damn nice.  I was surprised at how similar it really was to the bridgework on US 1 in the Florida Keys.


Edit:  I had to debate with myself between the US 319 End sign and the new St. George Island Bridge as the cover for my US 98 album linked above.  I thought the US 319 End was one of the best road sign pictures I've taken, the only thing that would have made it better was if that van on the bridge wasn't there:

1 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_7227 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr
« Last Edit: May 13, 2017, 07:32:05 AM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 01:37:22 PM »

Did some local stuff today around Destin and Fort Walton Beach:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/j7xk6y

Namely I did parts of FL 85, FL 189, all of FL 393, and CR 2378.  I even managed to find the go-track that I used to terrorize when I was down here for family vacations as a kid, that really surprised me that it was still here....pretty decent arcade at one point.  The one item that really is of interest to me is CR 2378 since it is signed as "Scenic Hwy 98."

IMG_7312 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

There isn't anything in particular that makes the route "scenic" as it goes by a bunch of places to eat.  Given the 90 degree angle it takes to/from US 98 would this be some sort of weird far flung original alignment that I'm seeing?  Anyways, the weird numbering seems to be a thing the further west you go into the Panhandle...almost like the 200 and 300 range ran out of room.  FL 393 is doubled with a CR 393 between Panama City and Destin, so why not just reuse numbers in different counties?
Logged

Alex

  • Webmaster
  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4650
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Last Login: May 24, 2017, 03:45:07 PM
    • AARoads
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 09:37:29 AM »

Thanks, actually you have any map links for the stuff up in Suwannee County?  There is a small chance I might swing that way maybe returning from the Carolinas.  Funny you should mention Hernado County since I did a whole bunch of it today but I'll hit on that later when I upload my photos to Flickr. 

I might have to swing by U.S. 19 on the return trip from the Keys next week if the freeway is finished since I'll be using the Skyway Birdge.  I think that I have some photos of I-275 being reconstructed, weird to see and hear about some of these projects finally being completed or getting close. 

The Suwannee Keys shields are along CR 132 at CR 249, CR 136 south at CR 250 at Dowling Park, CR 137 at CR 136 (west of Exit 439), in Wellborn at CR 137/CR 10A and CR 137/250, and in Live Oak where CR 249 and CR 795 come together. Also a cool suspension bridge on FL 51 across the Suwannee River.

US 19 is a full freeway from CR 611/49th Street North at Pinellas Park to FL 580 and Evans Road by Dunedin.

Did some local stuff today around Destin and Fort Walton Beach:

Namely I did parts of FL 85, FL 189, all of FL 393, and CR 2378.  I even managed to find the go-track that I used to terrorize when I was down here for family vacations as a kid, that really surprised me that it was still here....pretty decent arcade at one point.  The one item that really is of interest to me is CR 2378 since it is signed as "Scenic Hwy 98."

There isn't anything in particular that makes the route "scenic" as it goes by a bunch of places to eat.  Given the 90 degree angle it takes to/from US 98 would this be some sort of weird far flung original alignment that I'm seeing?  Anyways, the weird numbering seems to be a thing the further west you go into the Panhandle...almost like the 200 and 300 range ran out of room.  FL 393 is doubled with a CR 393 between Panama City and Destin, so why not just reuse numbers in different counties?

Walton, Bay and Leon renumbered a lot of duplicate state secondary numbers, or suffixed numbers, into four digit routes. CR 2378 was likely a branch of CR 30 at one point, which would have represented an ancient alignment of US 98. Destin had several suffixed CR 30's at one point, but they were mostly done away with over the years, or made unsigned. Same with Bay County between Front and Back Beach Roads. The keys and reverse video US 98 on Wisteria Lane (CR 3037) is an old CR 30x route.

There should still be a 85B keys shield in the median of FL 85 north from Shalimar. Laurel Hill also has some 85 keys shields in northern Okaloosa.
West of Pensacola, there is a blue US 90 on Millview Lane, and north of Pensacola, a 97 keys shield at Walnut Hill.

   Did some local stuff mostly around Hernando County starting with a quick stop at the ruins of the Brooksville Army Airfield which is now part of the Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport on CR 574:

   The Brooksville Army Airfield was open from 1942 (I think, it could have been 1940) to 1945 and was a sub-command of the Orlando Army Air Base which is now where the Orlando Executive Airport is located.  The Brooksville base was primarily used for bomber pilot training and was transferred to Hernando County at the end of WWII.  Apparently the name change stated above happened back in 2013 and it was originally called Hernando County Airport.


Hernando County is one county in Florida where I have both driven every numbered route and posted all of the photos on the site. Had a project in February 2014 for my old boss to research the county for a street atlas update, and came across the name change for the airport. I phoned the airport to confirm the name change, which was somewhat signed at the time, but with references to the old name still in place.


   When I last lived in Florida you couldn't drive Old Dixie Highway from Hudson to Aripeka, but it seems now that you can because there are no road closure sign that used to be present.  I've driven about half of the route and it was a pretty decently graded dirt road and I speculated that the closure was due to the phosphate mine along the coast.  I didn't want to get too chancy with a rental car so I just cut north to Aripeka instead which is a little fishing village from the 1870s which used to be entirely in Hernando County before Pasco split which put parts in both.  I cut north off of CR 595 onto CR 597, but as stated previously I'm fairly certain that all of 595 is the West Dixie Highway from Spring Hill Drive to the coastal split south of Aripeka.

   Another oddity I uncovered in looking at some of my maps is that I believe the Old Dixie Highway and CR 595 used to also carry US 19 for awhile before Commercial Way was built.  I base that assumption off the 1939 and 1940 Florida State Maps which seems to show such an alignment via a shift of US 19 from modern FL 52 north to modern FL 50:


The same old boss I did the Hernando project for gave him three boxes of his historic map collection (mostly stuff from the mid 60s, but several maps going back to the early 30s). Some of those maps showed that Dixie Highway alignment in western Pasco, which I had no idea about until looking through some of those maps on Friday.

When doing the Hernando research, I also discovered that CR 550 was a former extension of FL 50. Drove out there on a cool afternoon (mid 50s). Otherwise your observations of Hernando are quite accurate, given the topography of the eastern portion of the county, especially near Spring Lake. Another pronounced section of road is along CR 41 in Pasco, where it heads east toward Dade City.

Should note that the I-75 and US 98/FL 50 interchange in Hernando is currently being upgraded to a SPUI. The project will also include a flyover to US 98 westbound eventually.


Anyways, it is almost all the US 98 corridor tomorrow up the Panhandle almost all the way..but not quite to Pensacola.  If anyone has some locations on Color or Keys Shields please let me know since there is likely a pretty good chance that I'll be passing near one.  Any old alignments and bridgework in the Panhandle is something I'm really looking for as well.   Also if there is any good map sources from the late 1940s and early 1950s after the renumbering they would be really helpful.

I'm probably too late to mention it, but Panama City has the largest array of old shields in the Panhandle. Outside of that, there are a number along FL 2 on intersecting roads, and around Blountstown. Faded to white US 231 shields in Altha, a couple of blue 90's in Marianna, and 81 keys in Ponce De Leon, etc. etc.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 08:39:28 PM »

^^^

I figure that I ought to reply first before updating the activities for today.  Come to think of it I probably should have sent a PM out before leaving for the shield locations on the Key and Colored stuff in retrospect.

I'm thinking US 19 might be the ticket coming back up from the Keys now that it is complete.  I want to hit the Skyway Bridge but stomaching another drive up 589 is a pretty tall order considering I need to come back down that way to hit the airport a week from now.

I'd be interested in seeing some older highway maps for US 98 especially in the mid-1930s.  Some of the alignments are obvious or at least they are more than likely with all the FL/CR 30s in the area.  I have a decent source for old state maps that show rail alignments but I've never really found one for highways.  That really made tracking down the original alignment of 4a in the Keys a pain in the ass...  Interestingly though my Aunt was telling me a story about CR 2378 possibly Henderson Beach at one point before it became a state park.  I captured a lot of those 2000 series County Routes, it is still weird to me since there doesn't seem to be all that much usage in the 200 band out that far west that would really make that necessary.

Interestingly the road alignment in Brooksville-Tampa Regional Airport has changed.  On the west side of that old bunker there was a road that was ground up that was present just two years back.  There was even a TO US 19 and US 41 that was present, but both are now gone.  I have another album of the bunker somewhere on my Flickr showing everything that used to be there. 

Do you happen to have any scans of the 1930s stuff from Hernando County?  I'm pretty sure that I am onto something with Spring Hill Drive and that might confirm it if the maps are earlier than the one I have from 1936.  Funny, I never thought that interchange at I-75 and FL 50/US 98 was all that bad all things considered.  I'm hearing both Croom Road and Nobleton-Croom Road were recently paved just to the north on old 39, that might be worth swinging by on Tuesday I'm thinking when I stop back in Brooksville.  I'm fairly certain that I'll be using CR 41 in Pasco Wednesday morning to get down to the Keys to get some photos of the big drops approaching I-75.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2017, 09:05:29 PM »

Anyways, today's travel had me taking a 440 mile routing through Alabama and Georgia to reach US 129 in North Carolina.  Here is the full album followed by things I thought were notable:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/j0UfHn

-  I'm really disappointed that I didn't leave 20 minutes later since all my photos of the Mid-Bay bridge weren't usable.  The good news is that I wasn't 100% if my SunPass was still working, that toll gantry still displays "Go SunPass."
-  US 231 is a pretty high quality expressway over the Alabama state line to Dothan, I don't remember it being that good.
-  Alabama was WAY less stingy on keeping the speed limit high compared to Florida.  Alabama tends to use less traffic lights at major crossing and replaces the lowered speed limits with rumble strips.  There was even a pattern to the rumble strips in that they were in shorter intervals before intersections.
-  Alabama sure loves to display a crap load shields and directional signage.  I could see people getting really confused easily around Dothan given the volume of signs.  Speaking of Dothan, what is up with that whole giant expressway circle around the city?  It seems to fulfill the purpose it was intended for but it is still a little weird.
-  What is up with all the county routes in southeast Alabama?  Those little county route shields were almost impossible to see at expressway speeds given they are the standard small size.  I noticed that several of the county routes passed US 431 several times, CR 137 especially...is that some older alignment?  US 431 reminds me a lot of US 27 south of Sebring in Florida since it has almost no traffic lights and is an expressway largely the entire way to Phenix City.
-  I-185 was just kind of there, really nothing too much interesting going on.
-  I-85 had a couple VMS signs showing the reopening in downtown Atlanta.  I bypassed most of the city on I-285 to get to I-75, interesting to see the speed limits have increased.  I-285 had some of those variable speed limit signs which is kind of laughable given the heavy traffic even on a Sunday.
-  I-575 was a little more amusing than I-185 given there was end signage when the freeway becomes GA 5/GA 515.  The "Downtown Cuming" was worth an immature laugh.  I even got the I-575 "end" sign for good measure.
-  GA 515 was interesting to see given the blue shields which I'm to understand designate it as part of the Appalachian Development Corridor?  Really the roadway was actually kind of pretty even though it was an expressway, it kind of reminded me of US 29 in Virginia.
-  The whole deal with GA 60 and GA 60s is kind of weird, especially since NC 60 connects to the spur route.  Oddly that was the first two-lane segment I actually was on in over 400 miles which is an oddity for me.  Really I'm trying to figure out some better techniques for shield captures on freeways and expressways, that was way too much editing today to eliminate windshield glare....very much not my forte

In North Carolina I hooked up with US 129 which was more my speed and took it all the way north to Alcoa in Tennessee.  Really US 129 was the big attraction for the day given the Blue Ridge Mountains and of course The Dragon, the full album is here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskUYyTkC

-  First off, I really don't think US 129 is all that daunting in comparison with what I'm used to out in California, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.  That said the route is absolutely beautiful and was pretty chill today despite it being a weekend...which I chalk up to being Mother's day.  Even at the worst grades south of Deals Gap I really and don't see why the speed limit needs to be 30 MPH aside from the biker crowd getting out of hand, the road can handle faster in the hands of a good driver.  I drove Deals Gap in a snow storm four years ago and it wasn't even that bad back then.
-  I did some looking into all the dams on the Little Tennessee and Cheoah River Watershed.  Interestingly the Chilhowee Dam is under going repairs which revealed this likely 1930s era highway bridge:

IMG_7620 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

-  For some reason much of the speed limit north of the Chilhowee Dam was lowered to 40 MPH which really seems excessively slow compared to 50 MPH since the terrain was gentle.

SO!....with that all in mind, tomorrow will be a much slower pace in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I really hated going over 500 miles, but the end game on US 129 was totally worth it.
Logged

Eth

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 842
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Georgia
  • Last Login: May 24, 2017, 09:55:51 PM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2017, 09:47:35 PM »

-  Alabama sure loves to display a crap load shields and directional signage.  I could see people getting really confused easily around Dothan given the volume of signs.  Speaking of Dothan, what is up with that whole giant expressway circle around the city?  It seems to fulfill the purpose it was intended for but it is still a little weird.

The fact that they decided to start signing the previously hidden AL 210 about a decade ago certainly doesn't help matters in terms of the signage overload. I presume it was originally meant to be a bypass, but it doesn't really bypass a whole lot, does it?

Quote
-  What is up with all the county routes in southeast Alabama?  Those little county route shields were almost impossible to see at expressway speeds given they are the standard small size.  I noticed that several of the county routes passed US 431 several times, CR 137 especially...is that some older alignment?  US 431 reminds me a lot of US 27 south of Sebring in Florida since it has almost no traffic lights and is an expressway largely the entire way to Phenix City.

Russell CR 137 is an old alignment of US 431, yes. It was gradually moved onto the new expressway in bits and pieces throughout the 1990s and 2000s; my fairly frequent trips to the Panhandle in those days required going through Seale and Pittsview rather than around them. Additionally, CR 138 was part of AL 169, and CR 18 was extended west to take over part of former AL 26.

Quote
-  GA 515 was interesting to see given the blue shields which I'm to understand designate it as part of the Appalachian Development Corridor?  Really the roadway was actually kind of pretty even though it was an expressway, it kind of reminded me of US 29 in Virginia.

Correct on the blue shields. Georgia's other colored state route shield (green) is for GA 520, not technically an official ADHS corridor but sort of quasi-designated as such as GDOT.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 05:02:23 AM »

^^^

I guess now this thread makes a whole a lot more sense in regards to Dothan and a possible freeway connector to I-10:

http://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=20127.msg2222332#msg2222332

I'm not familiar with the area but I would imagine that the giant circle was probably a really big deal in traffic design back whenever it opened.  It seems like the city mostly grew back into the loop with the modern buildings pretty much everywhere.

That's kind of neat to be able to spot that 137 was an old US 431 alignment from the car.  It seems like that sort of pattern is pretty common in the South East.  US 27 largely does something similar with FL 17/CR 17 south of I-4 which I'm pretty certain is also mostly an older alignment. 

The one thing that blue 515 doesn't help with is route simplification nor the 5 being multiplexed.  Wouldn't it be more simple to have either the 5 silent or just drop the 515 then give whatever is in the corridor colored shields? 
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 08:48:57 PM »

Well I have all my photos edited but it turns out my WiFi at the hotel I'm staying completely blows.  I "MIGHT" be able to get one of the big ones uploaded but it seems the smaller ones will have to wait until tomorrow when I get back to Florida.  Today's route took me through the following:

1.  Great Smoky Mountain National Park; via Little River Gorge Road and Newfound Gap Road/Implied US 441. 

-  The last time I was out this way was back in 2013 when Newfound Gap was closed due to a slide which in turn led to the winter foray into US 129.  US 321 had a bunch of fog in the early morning but nothing that really was much of a deterrent compared to Tule Fog.  I took Scenic 73 into the Park and Little River Gorge Road to Newfound Gap Road/US 441.  Apparently there was a railroad once on the grade of Little River Gorge Road, at least that is what a viewing station said.  I'm trying to find more information on the line, I do recall it was for logging and I really should have took a photo.  Really I thought Newfound Gap/US 441 was pretty tame climbing southbound on the Tennessee side with a much larger drop on the North Carolina side descending to Cherokee.  I am kind of interested in looking into the back history of the road prior to US 441 being routed over it in 1952 since it was completed twenty years prior.

-  Really dig the design of the state highway shields in Tennessee.  For some reason I really like the clean designs of both shields.


2.  Blue Ridge Parkway from Newfound Gap Road to US 23/74

-  Really the Parkway from the Newfound Gap Road to Asheville is probably the best drivers road and most scenic road in the eastern United States.  Most of the road is above 4,500 feet and for whatever reason the Park Service doesn't hold your hand with somewhat generous 45 MPH speed limits.  I actually climbed the Waterrock Knob Trail which I really didn't intend to do since my tendon still wasn't feeling right.  Surprisingly it went pretty well and I was able to actually run even on the uphill grade....huge relief for an off topic thread.


3.  US 23/74 and I-40 to Asheville

-  US 23/74 is a pretty good and placid route through the mountains.  I-40 STILL is a friggin disaster after all these years, the traffic is absolutely terrible and there really needs to be some additional climbing lanes.  The 60 MPH speed limit on even grades and 55 MPH were kind of a joke since everyone was just ignoring them.  I stopped in Asheville for lunch with some friends, I'm to understand that I-26 had some exit renumbering recently since it was a huge topic of discussion of how much of an annoyance it was. 


4.  I-26 to Columbia, SC

-  This part was absolutely miserable, if I never have to drive I-26 again I'll be all the happier....had to stay on it for 140 miles in one shot.  There was a widening project underway south of I-40 in Asheville but no other projects south to Columbia.  I would argue that I-26 is actually a busier Interstate than the entirety of I-95 in South Carolina, it definitely is not fun having to duck and weaver truckers or slow drivers.

-  Is slow speeds limits in North Carolina really such a big thing across the state still?  The posted speed picked up significantly from 60 MPH to 70 MPH in South Carolina.  The speed in Columbia was kind of laughable at 60 MPH and 55 MPH, no was paying attention.

-  There is a strange mix of shields in South Carolina.  It seems a lot of the older BGSs on I-26 have the ugly black and white box with the numeral while some have been replaced by the modern Blue/White design which looks way better.


5.  I-77 and SC 48 to Congaree National Park

-  I-77 seems to have much less traffic than I-26 does in Columbia, nothing but smooth sailing.

-  SC 48 has a very weird vibe to it.  I actually found what appeared to be an older black/white state route shield at the junction with I-77, once I can I'll link it over.

-  I'm assuming that Old Bluff Road was once the mainline for SC 48 at some point?  Very weird that there is no direct link to a state highway to Congaree National Park.  Did some trail running out in the 90 degree plus wetlands and got out of dodge for the hotel.


6.  Congaree National Park to St. George

-  Someone stole the US 601 sign at the junction with SC 48.  The junction sign is still there and for some reason it is on the left side of the roadway when it ought to be on the right.

-  I clinched SC 267 south to US 15 through some nice quiet back country.  I picked up a couple decent pictures of state shields along the way like 6, 33, and 47. 

-  I-95 was much more tolerable compared to I-26, I'm really looking forward to having a full six lanes to work with in Geogia tomorrow.


SOOOOO...with all that in mind once I have some of the albums loaded I will link them over.  I'm expecting one tonight and probably the other three tomorrow, so it could be a bit of back log.  The plan for tomorrow is to head to Jacksonville to meet up with some friends, I'm debating using the Mayport Ferry on A1A.

Edit:  Finally got the album with all the stuff in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway uploaded here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskV4ducd
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 10:41:19 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

jwolfer

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 1517
  • Age: 46
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Last Login: Today at 01:01:56 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 10:52:51 PM »

Welcome to Jacksonville.  There is a new bridge over Sisters Creek on SR 105 just west of the Mayport Ferry

LGMS428

Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2017, 08:51:16 PM »

Welcome to Jacksonville.  There is a new bridge over Sisters Creek on SR 105 just west of the Mayport Ferry

LGMS428

Pretty sure I got a picture of it from the Mayport Ferry....

Anyways, before I recap today here is the links for all the stuff I couldn't upload yesterday.

-  Blue Ridge Parkway to Congaree National Park; mostly I-26 stuff with the weird SC 48 shield as the cover:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/4yq0d7

-  Congaree National Park:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWBsUVk

-  Congaree National Park to St. George, SC which includes a route clinch of SC 267:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWBt7sD


As for today it started out with a straight shot from US 78 in St. George to downtown Jacksonville.  I was able to get some decent photos since the sunlight was at by back.  Totally boring drive given the low traffic count in South Carolina and the six lanes in Georgia.  It seems as though that Highway Patrol in Georgia was out in in force today as I saw four deputies looking for speeders.  The Welcome Center for both Georgia and Florida were brand new, pictures of both are included.  Lots of shields for SC, GA, and FL:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/j9i377

I stopped in downtown Jacksonville at the Southbank Riverwalk which just so happens to have several nice views of the Main Street and Acosta Bridge.  I took the Main Street Bridge and Mathews Bridge to get over the St. Johns River towards the Mayport Ferry:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWZ3xeE

As for the Mayport Ferry, I didn't actually ride it but I did go all the way to Mayport Village and took A1A all the way south to St. Augustine.  I checked out Castillo de San Marcos which has some decent views of the Franics and Mary Usina Bridge in addition to the Bridge of Lions.  There was a monster repaving project going on for 16 miles south of Jacksonville Beach and there was some trace storm damage from Hurricane Matthew:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZL9mCh

Since the topic of the Old Brick Highway came up on another thread I decided to go revisit it and took US 1 to CR 13 up to Espanola. I don't think the article in the other thread mentioned it but the Old Brick Highway is still signed fairly well from the south as CR 13.  I would speculate the roadway is very much in decent enough condition for anything medium clearance to pass through easily, the sand might be the undoing of a car over the course of the route.  This brick segment was part of the East Dixie Highway:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZUVksx

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/E2801Z

From the Old Brick Highway I took a path through the center of the state to get to Hernando County which took me to Center Hill.  I've kind of checked in Center Hill over the years as the downtown section on Market Street is gradually disappearing.  The streets used to be lined with abandoned buildings but that seems to be coming to an end with fences surrounding the remaining structures and several already have disappeared since I last visited in 2015.  Supposedly the town almost died out in the 1970s and there used to be a railroad that bisected Market Street.  Market Street was repaired also as there was some bricks coming up from under the asphalt during the last visit:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskWZ8uV1

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/886mMW

I decided on a side trip on the way back to Brooksville via Croom-Nobleton Road and Croom Road.  Apparently both were paved in the last couple years whereas they had been dirt previously.  Croom-Nobleton was part of FL 39 but lacks any County Route Signage.  Croom Road seems to have been assigned County Route 480 and there was a bunch of new shields:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVfFu9g

Right now I'm at about 1,940 miles on this trip with AT LEAST 800 left to go on the southern tip of the state.  I'm debating whether or not to detour to Orlando on the way back up from the Keys on Friday or just to go straight back to the Tampa Area.  The freeway driving is taking a toll on me and I can't imagine that the Overseas Highway is going to be especially easy getting out unless I do it very early in the morning.

 
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2017, 07:35:46 PM »

Did some stuff in the southern part of the state, mostly took back roads in the process.   Started out with CR 41 out in Pasco County, I managed to get a couple decent pictures of the big drop off the Brooksville Ridge approaching Dade City:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZXWbK2

1 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr


I took CR 35 on the Old Dade City Highway to short cut to US 98.  I stopped at one of the Polk County Line Monoliths which is located at the junction of CR 54 and US 98:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZPcass

1 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

It would seem that those monoliths were put at major highways in the early 1930s.  I've seen them at the Polk County Line on US 92 and on the Old Tampa Highway which would have been US 17/92.  US 98 wouldn't have come around to the area until 1952 but I'm fairly certain the original alignment was the same as the Old Dade City Highway which would have likely take what is now CR 54 to reach the Polk County line as seen above.  I'm fairly certain that the original alignment in Polk County would have been; Old Dade City Road, Socrum Loop Road, and modern FL 33 to US 92 in downtown Lakeland.

"I didn't want to take I-75 to reach US 41 down in the Everglades so I mostly stuck inland and took; US 98 through Lake Land, US 17 south to FL 70, FL 70 to FL 31, and FL 31 to FL 80 to skip the majority of I-75.  I stuck to I-75 for about 40 miles to CR 951 where I hooked up with US 41 west of Naples.  I-75 is packed these days near Naples despite being six lanes, most of the signage is new.  It looked like US 17 was finally being blown out to a full expressway north of FL 70:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVj68BD

I took US 41 across the Everglades to get to the Turnpike. 

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVFJmW3

I wrote this up for my Facebook album of all the stuff I checked out on or near US 41 in the Everglades:

Featuring; Tamiami Trail/US 41 from FL 951 to FL 997, Everglades City, Chokoloskee/Smallwood Store, Monroe Station, Everglades Loop Road, and Pinecrest Ghost Town.


Tamiami Trail

-   Officially the 275 miles of US 41 south of Tampa to the City of Miami.  The Tamiami Trail originally designated US 41 to Naples and US 94 east to Miami until 1949.  The Tamiami was completed in segments from 1915 until it was completely finished in the Everglades in 1928.

Everglades City

-   Located at the southern tip of County Route 29 in Collier County, Everglades City was first settled in the 1870s and obtained a post office by 1892.   In 1923 Collier County split from Lee County and the newly incorporated Everglades City was picked as the first county seat.   The county seat was moved in 1962 but Everglades City has remained an incorporated place ever since.   The original 1926 Collier County Courthouse is still present in the downtown section of the city.

Chokoloskee/Smallwood Store

-   A community just south of Everglades City which was established in 1874.  Chokoloskee remained inhabited throughout the 20th century despite being on the very tip of the Everglades.  The Smallwood Store was the original post office for Chokoloskee which was built in 1906.   Chokoloskee is located on a bay of the same name whch is connected by a string of islands called "The Thousand Islands" to the Gulf of Mexico.

Ochopee and the smallest Post Office

-   Ochopee is a community in Collier County on the Tamiami Trail which was established in the 1920s but today is more or less a ghost town.  The community is notable for what is reportedly the smallest post office in the county.  The current post office was opened in 1953 when the original general store burned down.   Supposedly the current post office building was originally a pipe shed that was repuroposed.

Monroe Station

-   Monroe Station was a gas station that was located at the junction of the Everglades Loop Road and US 41.  Despite being called "Monroe Station" it was actually located a couple miles north into Collier County.  Monroe Station was added to the register of historic places in 2000 but it burned down in 2016.  Reportedly the reason Monroe Station burned down was due to someone trying to do a light show on the roof by burning steel wool.  Apparently this led to the roof collasping and the person burning the steel wool falling inside which led to Monroe Station burning down.  All that is left of the station is a concrete stairwell and a couple wood support posts.

Everglades Loop Road

-   Officially designated as CR 94 but not signed as such, the Loop Road travels to/from US 41 through the Big Cypress Preserve in Collier County to Everglades National Park Miami/Dade County.   Originally the Loop Road was accepted as the official routing of the Tamiami Trail in 1921.  The funding for the Tamiami Trail ran out of money in 1922 and private money was used to route the highway along the modern alignment through Collier County instead of Monroe.   The Loop Road is 21 miles long with 14 miles still unpaved through to the Pinecrest Ghost Town.

Pinecrest

-   Not to be confused with the city of the same name in Miami-Dade County; Pinecrest is a ghost town located in Monroe County on the Loop Road.  Pinecrest came to be settled during the construction of the Tamiami Trail and was once even had a hotel owned by Al Capone.   Somehow part of Pinecrest has remained in private hands and all that is left is some ruins in a collection in a front yard with "no trespassing" signs."

Interestingly there was some weird looking US 41 shields along the Tamiami Trail:

IMG_8383 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

IMG_8416 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

I'm not familiar with the causeway project east of the Shark Valley Loop Road.  It looked like one segment of the causeway was completed but I guess that FDOT is constructing another?  The photos are in the album I linked above.

FL 997 was a complete disaster so I stuck with the main road on Florida's Turnpike.  It looks like the Turnpike is undergoing some major upgraded which I managed to capture a few of.  I also got some photos of the notable shields like 997 and 9336:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZYbWz8

I'll admit it is weird seeing "Toll" placards on the Turnpike Shields:

IMG_8506 by Max Rockatansky, on Flickr

I also stopped by Biscayne National Park since I wasn't happy with my older photos, it still is way down at the bottom of my list for National Parks...not much to see:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVFL8zj
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 08:40:51 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

freebrickproductions

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1515
  • The traffic signal enthusiast for north Alabama.

  • Age: -6984
  • Location: Huntsville, AL
  • Last Login: May 24, 2017, 08:50:49 PM
    • Mike's Railroad Crossing Website
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2017, 03:21:34 PM »

If you're coming up to the Tennessee Valley, let me know as I know where there's the older signage in the area, including an old 1950s/1960s AL 207 shield.
Logged
It's all fun & games until someone summons Cthulhu and brings about the end of the world.

I also collect traffic lights, road signs, fans, and railroad crossing equipment.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2017, 07:50:08 PM »

If you're coming up to the Tennessee Valley, let me know as I know where there's the older signage in the area, including an old 1950s/1960s AL 207 shield.

Actually slipped around the perimeter of Tennessee Valley on the way up out of the Panhandle.  Right now I'm at about 2,500 miles for the trip and gave about 500 left to get back to Tampa.  I actually went down the Keys today and I'm staying the night down here.  I did the modern highway today and pretty much everything that was drivable of 4a in the Lower Keys....and then some.   I still have Card Sound Road left to go on the way back up before I upload the album. 

Essentially I have something in mind for the 4a stuff that I think will make for an interested branch thread but it will take some time.  Basically 4a was the precursor to US 1 in the Florida Keys and it hardly ever gets mentioned.  Figured it would be worth the effort to do one of the former alignment deals that I do in the Pacific Southwest Board. 

Edit:  So apparently I have 540 photos from today alone...holy shit that's that a lot.  Like I eluded to above much of State Road 4a can't be driven anymore, you have to hoof it on foot.  I actually did some running on the abandoned portions of Sugarloaf and Boca Chica Keys.  The section on Boca Chica is all washed into the ocean with several segments still sticking out along with derelict power lines.  I noticed that on Cudjoe and Summerland Keys that there was a couple new historical markers that reference what 4a actually was.  The short version of the story is that 4a was opened in 1928 and was largely very different than US 1 and the Overseas Railroad.  4a stuck to the Atlantic Coastline for the most part in the Lower Keys before using a ferry from No Name Key to Lower Matecumbe Key.  Some of the divided highway around Key Largo is actually both 4a and the Overseas Railroad right-of-way.  Anyways, it is a fascinating story and worth actually telling when I get home

Speaking of home, I'm only back there for a single day on Sunday before I head to Washington State.  Too bad I can't go to the Olympic Peninsula because it would be kind of cool to say that I was the furtherest geographical points from each other within the Continental United States. 
« Last Edit: May 18, 2017, 08:05:58 PM by Max Rockatansky »
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2017, 05:05:34 PM »

Finally got my photos uploaded from the Keys from today and yesterday:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/s82949

Essentially I did pretty much everything there was to do regarding both versions of the Overseas Highway and the Overseas Railroad.  Some of what I did includes the following:

-  The 18 Mile Stretch from Florida City to Key Largo was a nightmare as always.  Plenty of people tried to pass before the passing zone opened up, I even managed to snag some photos of it in progress.  The best advice I can give is just to gun it with the rest of the traffic when the passing zone hits so you don't get run over, it won't be long before you encounter slow traffic after the drop back to two lanes.

-  Got some decent photos underneath the Jewfish Creek Bridge near the Anchorage Resort.  The railroad and US 1 ran on the frontage road before the modern bridge was constructed.

-  The traffic on Key Largo to Tavenier was pretty good.  I suspect that the center-lane project in Islamorda being completed helped not clog the highway up past the Plantation Key School which historically been a terrible backup point.

-  I checked out the Long Key Viaduct, Seven Mile Bridge, Old Boot Key Bridge, Old Bahia Honda Bridge, Bogie Channel Bridge, and even the Summerland Key wooded derelict.  So if you like bridges there is a lot here to see.

-  I checked out every portion of FL 4a which could be driven sans Stock Island.  So basically I have a string of photos from the No Name Key Ferry location to where the road old road is washed out into the Atlantic Ocean at the Boca Chica Shanty Town.  Up the Key I did Card Sound Road/CR 905/CR 905A out this morning and got a picture of the bridge in addition to Monroe County Toll Booth.

-  I did drive all of A1A in Key West and even managed to get the weird C-5 shield at the intersection of Flagler Avenue.

-  I looked at the reconstructed Sea Wall on US 1 along Roosevelt in Key West.  FDOT put up some really nice palm trees and even installed pedestrian signals.

-  The US 1 END sign has been replaced again.  I don't know what I think about this new "END" placard, it kind of looks off to me.

-  I did get some center line views of Duval Street because I felt like it.

There is also a lot more that may or may not be road related.  I'm planning on putting together a thread on FL 4a with actual maps to go with the photos but it will be a "work in progress" type deal.  Going down yesterday was actually very easy compared to most days and even leaving wasn't so bad.  Key Largo was getting hammered by rain and I drove out of the really bad stuff at the split for C-905 on Card Sound Road.  The rain was heavy again after the toll booth at the Card Sound Bridge, it went down to maybe 100 foot visibility a couple times.  No rain by the time I hit Florida City.

Speaking of Florida City, I got there by 8 AM today and I didn't want to go on rush hour on the Turnpike.  I ended up taking FL 997/Krome Avenue instead all the way up to US 27 which can be seen here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskZVAgTw

Basically I got the entirety of the road upgrade construction north of Homestead to US 41 on 8th.  The traffic in and around Homestead is awful as alawys, but really it isn't much better on the Turnpike between exit 9 to Bird Road maybe until 10-11 AM on a weekday morning?  Anyways, the expressway construction starts just north of FL 994 and continues all the way up to US 41.  There was some new mileage signage that was already on 997 even in the construction area, the route runs through the new expressway portions and the old existing road grade.  For whatever reason the US 41 shields are completely missing at 8th but likewise they are gone for westbound US 41 in regards to 997.  The expressway north of US 41 is complete aside from the junction with said route.  Really the new expressway that is open ought to be 65 MPH but it is posted at 55 MPH currently.

An interesting side effect of the expressway construction is that it eliminated a lot of places that local trucks can turn on and off of 997 which really sped traffic up.  Really I would have probably rated 997 as the most miserable piece of two-lane state highway when I lived in Florida, really the upgrades ought to mitigate a lot of the problems. 

To get back to the Brooksville Area I took US 27 north to FL 66, clinched 66 west to US 17, took US 17 north to US 98, took US 98 to FL 570, FL 570 to I-4, I-4 to the new alignment of FL 39, and the back roads from Zephr Hills back to US 41 near Brooksville.  I was able to get some decent photos of:

1.  The I-75/US 27 junction at Alligator Alley.  Apparently there is still a junction box still displaying "Andytown" somewhere near the interchange, but I've never been able to find it.
2.  The new interchange split at Whidden Corner for FL 80 and US 27.
3.  The US 27 Caloosahatchee Bridge over Moore Haven.

The link for all the stuff I just described would be here:

https://flic.kr/s/aHskVrdeWB

I didn't really feel like trying to slog through Tampa after 2,900 miles on this trip.  I have some decent photos of the Skyway Bridge already and hopefully the plane will be facing it on the way out.  I've always like US 27 as a back door route in/out of Miami since the segment between the Turnpike up to FL 66 is a full expressway and rarely heavily used beyond commercial traffic.  There was even a new Pilot in South Bay which was a nice change of pace compared to John Stretch Park where I always stopped in the past.

Apparently I had about 800 shield captures on this trip, got to love that anal levels of attention to detail Florida has with signage.  It was nice to be back for a little bit and check out all the old things I used to do in addition to seeing some the projects that were ongoing when I was living here completed.  Next time I'll probably stick closer to the Tampa and Orlando Areas I'm thinking, this was a much more tiring 2,900 miles than I would have done back out west.
Logged

clef

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 41
  • Location: Coral Springs, Florida
  • Last Login: May 23, 2017, 07:55:28 PM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2017, 12:17:24 AM »

1.  The I-75/US 27 junction at Alligator Alley.  Apparently there is still a junction box still displaying "Andytown" somewhere near the interchange, but I've never been able to find it.

Dunno about a junction box, but there's this, and this a couple miles away.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2017, 11:03:25 AM »

1.  The I-75/US 27 junction at Alligator Alley.  Apparently there is still a junction box still displaying "Andytown" somewhere near the interchange, but I've never been able to find it.

Dunno about a junction box, but there's this, and this a couple miles away.

I dug around for it online today, I might be thinking of that marking on the bridge.  It's been a couple years now and I never really bothered to find the site given it was obliterated with almost no remains.
Logged

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 4010
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 01:06:18 AM
Re: Max's Roads Southeast
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2017, 08:28:50 PM »

Finally organized all 798 shields from the Southeast trip into a single album:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/151828809@N08/059vFH
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.