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Author Topic: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh  (Read 6124 times)

Tom958

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Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« on: February 23, 2014, 10:51:10 PM »

My company might send me to help finish a job on the west side of Pittsburgh, and I'm wondering how I might work in some roadgeekery along the way. Pathetically, I've never been to Pennsylvania or even West Virginia before.  :pan: I'll be in a company vehicle, too, so I can't go too crazy with extra miles.

Here are some ideas I've come up with:

The short way: I-85 to Charlotte, I-485 around Charlotte, I-77 to Beckley WV, US 19 to I-79, I-79 to Pittsburgh. 667 mi, 9 hours 55 mins. I've been up 85 to Charlotte a million times, but I've never been north of Statesville on I-77.

Another way: US 23 and friends (I-985, I-40, I-26) to I-81, I-81 to Wytheville, then same as above. 657 mi, 10 hours 14 mins. I've been this way as far as Wytheville before, but it's been a while, and I-26 is pretty spectacular.

What I really want to do: US 23 and friends to Pikeville KY, US 119 to Charleston, I-79 to Pittsburgh. 694 mi, 11 hours 12 mins.

With a cherry on top: US 23 and friends to Pikeville KY, US 119 to Charleston, I-77, WV 2 and OH 7 to Wheeling, I-70 and I-79 to Pittsburgh. 684 mi, 11 hours 28 mins. Or, continue up OH 7 to Steubenville and then to Pittsburgh on US 22, 688 mi, 11 hours 39 mins. I Googlesurfed OH 7 and it looks like my thing. Also, I'd like to see Wheeling's rather spectacular freeway/expressway system.

Thoughts? Recommendations? Items of interest?


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JawnwoodS96

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 07:51:42 AM »

I would avoid I-70 in West Virginia at all costs. The lane configuration right before the tunnels are suicide.

The rest of the routes sound good though  :D
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hbelkins

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 11:20:02 AM »

I would avoid I-70 in West Virginia at all costs. The lane configuration right before the tunnels are suicide.

The rest of the routes sound good though  :D

They aren't that bad, and the lane markings are well-signed, IMHO. Plus, if you take US 250/WV 2, you are on the east side of the tunnel, if you don't opt for I-470 instead.

I've done US 23 many, many times. It's an enjoyable drive through Virginia, although the 55 mph speed limit and the prohibition on radar detectors slows things down. The section of US 119 just south of Williamson is a bit curvy, but it's a pretty scenic route and a nice mountain expressway in West Virginia.

If you can go one way and come back another, that would be even better. I don't think 40 extra miles one-way would be too much of a deal-breaker.
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Tom958

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 07:45:16 PM »

I would avoid I-70 in West Virginia at all costs. The lane configuration right before the tunnels are suicide.

The rest of the routes sound good though  :D

They aren't that bad, and the lane markings are well-signed, IMHO. Plus, if you take US 250/WV 2, you are on the east side of the tunnel, if you don't opt for I-470 instead.

Wow, looks pretty harrowing to me. I'd forgotten about the infamous chokedown to one lane on I-70. Looks less horrible eastbound, though. My work vehicle is a 15 passenger van-- it's nimble, but big and a bit unwieldy.  :no:

I really like the Steubenville idea, especially if I crossed the river to loop through central Wheeling via 70, 250 and 470. It looks a lot safer in the southbound direction, though-- the left-hand exit from I-70 to US 250 would get me out of having to change lanes.

Quote
I've done US 23 many, many times. It's an enjoyable drive through Virginia, although the 55 mph speed limit and the prohibition on radar detectors slows things down. The section of US 119 just south of Williamson is a bit curvy, but it's a pretty scenic route and a nice mountain expressway in West Virginia.

Yep, sounds pretty chillin,' and a welcome change from Interstate driving. Hey: are there any mountaintop removal sites visible from the route? I'd like to see one, I guess, just as I'm glad I saw Copperhill before they cleaned it up.  :-(

Quote
If you can go one way and come back another, that would be even better. I don't think 40 extra miles one-way would be too much of a deal-breaker.

Of course. The direct route has attractions other than directness, the New River Gorge Bridge being the most obvious. Also, my daughter lives in Greensboro, NC, so it might be advisable to spend the night with her if I don't have a full day (or do have two partial days!) for driving.
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hbelkins

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 09:52:10 PM »

Yep, sounds pretty chillin,' and a welcome change from Interstate driving. Hey: are there any mountaintop removal sites visible from the route? I'd like to see one, I guess, just as I'm glad I saw Copperhill before they cleaned it up.  :-(

There may be a few visible from US 23 and the parking area just after you cross into Kentucky from Virginia. Other than that, not that I can recall offhand in Kentucky, and it's been a few years since I've been on US 119 in West Virginia.
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Alps

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 12:33:30 AM »

WV 2 is one of my favorite roads in that area. Highly recommended as long as you have the time. I-70 is really cool, plus from Wheeling you can see the first suspension bridge (or at least the oldest one left) - it's just before I-70 if you're NB on WV 2, or it's I-70 Exit 0 if you take OH 7.

rickmastfan67

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 12:50:50 AM »

Have fun checking out the rebuild of the I-40/I-77 interchange that is currently in progress in Statesville.
http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/i40i77improvements/

Tom958

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 05:40:06 AM »

WV 2 is one of my favorite roads in that area. Highly recommended as long as you have the time. I-70 is really cool, plus from Wheeling you can see the first suspension bridge (or at least the oldest one left) - it's just before I-70 if you're NB on WV 2, or it's I-70 Exit 0 if you take OH 7.

Yes, this one. I'd forgotten about it, too, until I saw this post by wphiii. So much to see!

 
Quote from: rickmastfan67
Have fun checking out the rebuild of the I-40/I-77 interchange that is currently in progress in Statesville.

Prolly will, whether on this trip or not. I've been that way once since construction started to avoid the mess along I-85 between I-485 and Kannapolis.

Hey, thanks for the help, everybody. It's been very... helpful. :P
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 05:48:26 AM by Tom958 »
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Gnutella

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2015, 12:53:49 PM »

After reading about the history of U.S. 23 (the "Hillbilly Highway") and hearing Dwight Yoakam's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23," I drove every mile of it from Gainesville, GA to Catlettsburg, KY the last time I took a road trip to Pittsburgh. There's an awesome scenic overlook north of Big Stone Gap, VA that's pretty spectacular. And the highway leading into Pikeville, KY is curvy, but I don't remember it being as curvy as the Rand McNally road atlas makes it look. Maybe it's because I didn't get to Pikeville until evening twilight. There's a big-ass oil refinery right where U.S. 23 intersects I-64 in Catlettsburg, and it looks really impressive at night.
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hbelkins

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2015, 08:08:35 PM »

After reading about the history of U.S. 23 (the "Hillbilly Highway") and hearing Dwight Yoakam's song "Readin', Rightin', Route 23," I drove every mile of it from Gainesville, GA to Catlettsburg, KY the last time I took a road trip to Pittsburgh. There's an awesome scenic overlook north of Big Stone Gap, VA that's pretty spectacular. And the highway leading into Pikeville, KY is curvy, but I don't remember it being as curvy as the Rand McNally road atlas makes it look. Maybe it's because I didn't get to Pikeville until evening twilight. There's a big-ass oil refinery right where U.S. 23 intersects I-64 in Catlettsburg, and it looks really impressive at night.

It looks curvy on the map because from the intersection of US 460 and KY 80 north to beyond the Floyd/Pike county line, it follows the twists and turns of the Big Sandy River. Because the map is shrunk a great deal, you don't notice the road being as curvy as it appears.
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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 07:58:43 PM »

The short way: I-85 to Charlotte, I-485 around Charlotte, I-77 to Beckley WV, US 19 to I-79, I-79 to Pittsburgh. 667 mi, 9 hours 55 mins. I've been up 85 to Charlotte a million times, but I've never been north of Statesville on I-77.

If you take I-77 north, the stretch in VA from the NC border to Fancy Gap is a particularly scenic stretch that climbs the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The views are amazing from there, although obviously hard to completely catch when driving at highway speeds.

The Tamarack rest stop off I-77 in Beckley is a nice stop.  There are many artisans there that sell their wares, and is worth a stop if you go that way.  Also, the New River Gorge bridge is along US 19 on that route.

One bit of caution, though.  US 19 between I-77 and I-79 in WV is 65 mph for the most part.  However, there is a stretch in the town of Summersville that reduces to 50 mph (due to nearby businesses and traffic lights) and is known as an infamous speed trap.  Be sure to stick to exactly 50 on that stretch.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2015, 08:01:28 PM by jmd41280 »
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rickmastfan67

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 08:02:11 PM »

The short way: I-85 to Charlotte, I-485 around Charlotte, I-77 to Beckley WV, US 19 to I-79, I-79 to Pittsburgh. 667 mi, 9 hours 55 mins. I've been up 85 to Charlotte a million times, but I've never been north of Statesville on I-77.

If you take I-77 north, the stretch in VA from the NC border to Fancy Gap is a particularly scenic stretch that climbs the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The views are amazing from there, although obviously hard to completely catch when driving at highway speeds.

One bit of caution, though.  US 19 between I-77 and I-79 in WV is 65 mph for the most part.  However, there is a stretch in the town of Summersville that reduces to 50 mph (due to nearby businesses and traffic lights) and is known as an infamous speed trap.  Be sure to stick to exactly 50 on that stretch.

Don't forget the 50 stretch in Fayetteville, WV (just south of the New River Gorge Bridge).  I've seen way more cops along that stretch than in Summersville as of late.

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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2015, 07:45:35 PM »

Don't forget the 50 stretch in Fayetteville, WV (just south of the New River Gorge Bridge).  I've seen way more cops along that stretch than in Summersville as of late.

I forgot about that one.  The Summersville one seems to get all the press, which probably works to Fayetteville's advantage.
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Re: Lawrenceville, GA to Pittsburgh
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2015, 09:15:39 PM »

Yeah, the cops on U.S. 19 in West Virginia probably make bank with all the traffic between Pittsburgh and Charlotte.
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