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Author Topic: Kentucky to Hampton Roads to Delmarva to Kentucky (Part 1)  (Read 1272 times)

hbelkins

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Kentucky to Hampton Roads to Delmarva to Kentucky (Part 1)
« on: March 24, 2014, 11:44:47 PM »

My trip to the Hampton Roads and Delmarva meets this weekend was in danger because one of our cats wasn't doing well, but when we got a sign of encouragement Thursday night, I decided to travel after all. I had originally planned to be on the road Thursday, but changed my plans because we went to the vet Thursday evening. I left home after 3:30 Friday morning and was underway by 4 after going through the ATM at my bank.

Basically, I took the direct route to Abingdon, Va., then I-81 north and I-77 south to Hillsville, then US 58 across the southern tier of Virginia to near South Hill, with a diversion to clinch the newly-minted US 311 in Virginia. I dipped into North Carolina on US 1, then I-85 north to Petersburg to clinch it in Virginia, then I-95 south into North Carolina to put myself in position for a clinch. I took US 158 (with a shortcut across a state route called the Jackson Bypass) to Murfreesboro, then US 258 north all the way past Franklin and Smithfield to Benns Church, then south on VA 10/VA 32 to Suffolk, then US 13 south back into NC to put myself in position to clinch it in Virginia. Once I got into NC, I relied on my GPS to get me to my motel for the night. It took me back north on 13 but used a secondary route as a shortcut and then once I got into downtown Suffolk, it was Business US 58/US 58 east to I-64 to my motel in Chesapeake.

It had been several years since I'd been across Alt 58 between Norton and Abingdon. Last time I was through that area, something was being built at Virginia City, just west of St. Paul. It was dark when I passed by, but it looked like what was built was a coal-burning power plant. It was certainly lit up brightly.

A traffic light has been installed at the intersection of US 19 and Alt 58, which is fodder for the "traffic lights in rural areas" thread.

Virginia seems to have gone whole-hog for Clearview. Most of the signs along I-81 between Abingdon and Wytheville have been replaced with Clearview signage, and there was a lot of Clearview on some of the freeway segments of US 58 and along I-85 as well. Virginia is also starting to use extruded-panel guide signage quite a bit as well. I saw several examples of it.

Drove the new Hillsville bypass. Very little traffic. There is construction on US 58, from the Meadows of Dan bypass extending west for 10 miles back toward Hillsville, to widen that portion of 58.

I'm not sure which route I like best across Virginia in terms of scenery, US 58 or US 460. I've driven most of both of them in both directions. In 2010 I drove US 460 east from Roanoke all the way to Petersburg and then on to Hampton Roads, and I drove US 58 west. This time, I reversed directions and drove west on 460 from Farmville (with a detour on US 221 between Lynchburg and Bedford) but went east on 58.

Approaching Danville, there is ground-mounted signage adjacent to the supports for the overhead at the split of 58 and Business 58, pointing the way to US 311. US 311 is also noted on a sign where the 58 bypass crossed it, since there isn't an exit, and there are also ground-mounted signs for westbound traffic on 58. There are also shields painted on the pavement because there's a right turn from eastbound 58 onto a secondary route immediately before the exit ramp for the freeway bypass. On US 311, it's co-signed with NC 770 after you cross the state line.

Cheapest gas I saw on the trip was $3.099 at South Boston's Sheetz, and I got 3 cents off with my Sheetz card. (Most expensive gas was $3.699 here at home and in a few other places in Kentucky).

There's some absolutely horrible signage along US 58 between South Boston and South Hill, and I got plenty of photos.

Now I know why everyone seems to hate I-85 and I-95. Not really much to see, except lots of cops on both roads. I-95 was not as heavily traveled as I expected it to be.

I honestly don't understand the routings of US 258, VA 10 and VA 32 in the Franklin/Smithfield/Suffolk area. If 258 has to exist, seems like it would be better suited running concurrently with 58 to Suffolk, then north to Benns Church and the James River Bridge. The concurrency of VA 10 and VA 32 doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either. VA 32 is concurrent with something all the way from Newport News to south of Suffolk. VA 10 is concurrent with VA 32 from Benns Church to Suffolk, where it ends and 32 continues. I'd truncate 10 at Smithfield and 32 where it hits 13 south of Suffolk. Or, if 258 is put on 58 between Franklin and Suffolk, then you could run 10 south from Smithfield to Suffolk, and then run 32 concurrently with the new 258 between Suffolk and Benns Church, then let 32 run solo to Smithfield.

Got to my room Friday night around 7 and stayed up to watch Kentucky beat Kansas State. Since I'd been up since about 2:30 that morning and was only running on about 3 1/2 hours sleep, needless to say I was beat.
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froggie

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Re: Kentucky to Hampton Roads to Delmarva to Kentucky (Part 1)
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 07:12:05 AM »

Quote
I took US 158 (with a shortcut across a state route called the Jackson Bypass) to Murfreesboro

IIRC, the Jackson Bypass is a secondary route.

Quote
There is construction on US 58, from the Meadows of Dan bypass extending west for 10 miles back toward Hillsville, to widen that portion of 58.

That would be this project, extending the Meadows of Dan 4-laning west for just over 8 miles to SR 638 Laurel Fork.  According to the website, they expect to finish up by fall of next year.

Quote
I honestly don't understand the routings of US 258, VA 10 and VA 32 in the Franklin/Smithfield/Suffolk area. If 258 has to exist, seems like it would be better suited running concurrently with 58 to Suffolk, then north to Benns Church and the James River Bridge. The concurrency of VA 10 and VA 32 doesn't make a lot of sense to me, either. VA 32 is concurrent with something all the way from Newport News to south of Suffolk. VA 10 is concurrent with VA 32 from Benns Church to Suffolk, where it ends and 32 continues. I'd truncate 10 at Smithfield and 32 where it hits 13 south of Suffolk. Or, if 258 is put on 58 between Franklin and Suffolk, then you could run 10 south from Smithfield to Suffolk, and then run 32 concurrently with the new 258 between Suffolk and Benns Church, then let 32 run solo to Smithfield.

US 258 is fine...reason for its routing is to hit the Isle of Wight county courthouse and Smithfield.  It's really VA 32 that's the issue, since it's concurrent with other routes everywhere from Suffolk north.  Much simpler than your proposal would be to leave 258 as-is, remove 32 entirely, and extend 10 down to the NC line.  Sure, it wouldn't match NC 32, but I don't see that as an issue.
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NE2

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Re: Kentucky to Hampton Roads to Delmarva to Kentucky (Part 1)
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 12:08:16 PM »

This needed three threads. Thanks, Obama!
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