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Road Meet Preference: Visiting a new road before or after it opens?

Started by Laura, December 28, 2023, 02:48:03 PM

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At road meets, do you prefer visiting a new road before or after it opens?

10 (55.6%)
8 (44.4%)

Total Members Voted: 18


Hi all, I've been having conversations with road geeks about this recently and wanted to know what the community thinks at large. When attending a road meet, do you personally prefer visiting a new road before it opens or after it opens?

Whenever possible, my personal preference is to be able to visit a new road before it opens because then I get to walk in areas as a pedestrian that otherwise may not be possible once there is traffic! I also like seeing the construction process of the road/bridges/et cetera, too!


Depends.  When some meets are scheduled, I think just driving through or somehow overlooking a construction site can be tiresome.  Maybe you have to time the meet to be during one of the more exciting phases of construction, but for longer term projects, most of the time I'm just waiting for them to be done.  For instance, I-81 right now -- not so interesting to me at all.  Driving through I-69 in IN, already done it, but can still see how some people would like to see it while it's still being worked on.  I'd rather drive through it when it's done at this point.

Maybe it really does come to one's personal preference and interest depending upon the particular project. 

I liked being taken on a boat by FHWA on the Potomac when the Woodrow Wilson Bridge was built.  But driving through SC this past summer, when it seemed a lot of its Interstates were under construction at once?  Blech.

Then again, I always like driving on a recently opened road.  Always.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.


Doesn't much matter.  Sometimes it's good to see the construction, and then it's good to see the completed product.
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Depends on the project.  The whole hook to Bakersfield in April is that the Centennial Corridor will be open by then.  Right now there is no way to access the project zone.  When we did Fresno there was a bunch of HSR structures not being used but had easily accessible vantage points.


I have that photo of me in the middle of I-885. I don't like new roads. I like former roads and future roads.

(Now you may ask, why did I go to Missing Moves after it opened? Simple. I already got a few photos of the boring piers under construction. I wanted to drive it to log the miles and have an excuse to gather with people, but it's really quite boring overall, which is the point of building a new road.)


I think it depends on the project and the location. For the purposes of my YouTube work, I'm always going to lean toward seeing the completed product shortly after opening. This is especially the case if I'm at a meet in a location I'm unlikely to make it back to anytime soon. Having said that, the construction field engineer in me always gets a kick out of seeing something substantial as a work in progress.
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Sometimes you see the "unexpected"....

During my 2018 Shreveport/Caddo Parish meet, we stopped at a cul-de-sac where a construction trailer was located for the I-220/I-49 interchange construction site. It was months away from finally opening up. The new overheads were up, and it was really fun to see a road free of traffic just before it was finished.

And then someone yelled and unexpected sentence: "LOOK! A HORSE!!" Yep, little did I even notice right next to where we parked, someone had their horse tied off to a steel fence post. He was just there eating the grass wondering what in the world we were all doing there.

Definitely a memorable moment for a road meet....along with the P00 bus. (IYKYK)
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If I had to pick, I'd say before, if only because it's a rarer experience. But like many others have said, both have their benefits.
I-290   I-294   I-55   (I-74)   (I-72)   I-40   I-30   US-59   US-190   TX-30   TX-6


After, so I can clinch it.

I don't necessarily mind checking out construction given the opportunity though.
If you always take the same road, you will never see anything new.


Ideally both.  I think that the current tradition where the meet usually happens before it opens is good.  The one catch, I suppose, is that there was a stage in my life where I didn't have a car and hence couldn't easily go back on my own.  For people in that situation, a meet after the construction is finished can be good.  Although honestly, it's enjoyable either way.


Viewing construction is definitely interesting but overall I prefer after because I'm not necessarily sure when I'm going to get back to most places, given how the available travel weekends for me tend to be in high demand and I have to pick and choose.  This is especially true for anywhere requiring an overnight trip.
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.


Because of the uniqueness of being able to stand on and observe the roadway without traffic, I'd prefer before a road opens...albeit with some sort of permission or an area that would be relatively accessible without any issues.

Of the road meets I didn't get to, the one I missed the most (because of a work issue I couldn't leave) was the future 95 ramps between the PA Turnpike and existing 95, in which participants also got to drive on the ramps.

I did have the opportunity to visit and walk on DE 1 at a public grand opening event a few days before that roadway opened in the Smyrna area.

Another unique situation was when the Ben Franklin Bridge had their 75th anniversary, shutting the bridge down to traffic and allowing pedestrians to walk on the bridge, which I took advantage of.


Definitely before.  Some of my favorite meets were Corridor H and Golden Spike for this reason -- the ability to walk on a road and take a really up-close and personal look -- something you cannot do once the road is open to traffic.

For Golden Spike, I also liked the pre-meet presentation by the construction firm. 

Before I knew about the roadgeek community, when I was in grad school and living in Boston, a group called WalkBoston organized a walkthrough of the just-about-to-open Big Dig tunnels on I-93.  I freakin' LOVED doing that.  I think my then-girlfriend only went with me because I really wanted to do it.

I really want to, and still haven't, walked through the abandoned PA Turnpike tunnel, and on PA-62(is that the one?) in Centralia.  My understanding though is that both are considered trespassing, which makes me REALLY hesitant to do it outside of the context of a roadmeet.  (That and my poor car is, as I often say, "running on thoughts and prayers" and I can't get a new-to-me car right now for Reasons.)

Another part of a roadmeet I really enjoyed was the old ferry terminal and NJ-324 on the Philadelphia National meet.  Another closed road that you can inspect up close.



If you're referring to the abandoned section of PA-61 south of Centralia, take note that it's been covered with dirt to discourage people from exploring there, so you may not get to see anything if you do stop there.

Walking through the Ray's Hill and Sideling Hill Tunnels on the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is apparently OK. The Laurel Hill Tunnel is not open to the public, however.
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