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Author Topic: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis  (Read 6455 times)

ElPanaChevere

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Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:02:20 AM »

So in the middle of next month, I'm going to go visit some family down in South Florida, Ft. Lauderdale/Tamarac. I have one of my best friends asking me to come visit him in Saint Louis for a couple of days and flying deems to be too expensive.


So, one might say that the quickest route (and saving money here  :) ) by taking I-95 north to Exit 129 (FL 70/St. Pierce/Okeechobee) then switching over to the Fla. Turnpike, then up through Orlando, get onto I-75 north, bypass Macon on I-475, then continue on I-75 until Chattanooga. Taking I-24 west, through Nashville, up through Paducah, Ky. to I-57 in southern Illinois, picking up I-64 in Mt. Vernon, and taking I-64 west.


I've been on this route before, but not at once. Just from Atlanta-> St. Louis or Ft. Lauderdale. I live in Atlanta currently and I'd like to know if there's any real way to get around Atlanta traffic? Does a scenic bypass route exist?
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1995hoo

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 10:24:35 AM »

Google Maps lists the route you describe as being the most direct route at 1,195 miles, estimated 17 hours 23 minutes.

When you're talking about that amount of time, I view an additional hour to hour and a half as not being a substantial addition to the trip in the overall scheme of things. So with that in mind, and with the goal of avoiding Atlanta, have you considered cutting northwest through Alabama to Birmingham? If you get yourself over to Columbus, Georgia, you could then take US-280 from Phenix City up to the Auburn/Opelika area, then continue up US-280 past Lake Martin up to the Birmingham area. I haven't been on the latter segment, but I recall the segment between Phenix City and I-85 as being a very good four-lane divided expressway-grade road. I've also been to Lake Martin and it was a scenic area, though I don't know how much of the lake and its environs you'd get to see from US-280. Traffic on rural highways in Alabama tends to be extremely light.

From Birmingham you'd go up I-65 to rejoin the route you cite.

Google Maps says this route is 1,226 miles (so 31 miles longer than the route via Atlanta) and takes 18 hours 42 minutes. The route they suggest involves exiting I-75 at Tifton and then using US-82 through Albany to Dawson and then GA-520/US-280 up to the Columbus/Phenix City area.

Of course, Birmingham can be a traffic bottleneck as well depending on the time of day, but generally nowhere near as severe as Atlanta. I think Washington Post columnist Robert Thomson (Dr. Gridlock) put it best when he said that on a long road trip, you're going to hit some city's traffic and it's just a question of whose and when.

(I thought about recommending the western portion of Georgia's Fall Line Expressway. Mapmikey had recommended the segment from Augusta to Macon for a trip I took last month and it worked very well. But the western portion is too far out of the way because you have to cut too far north towards Macon before turning west.)
« Last Edit: July 01, 2014, 10:28:29 AM by 1995hoo »
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 10:29:54 AM »

That planned route should be nice.  In particular, Interstate 75 north of Atlanta to Chattanooga and Interstate 24 west from Chattanooga to Nashville being the best part.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 11:24:13 AM »

Google Maps lists the route you describe as being the most direct route at 1,195 miles, estimated 17 hours 23 minutes.

When you're talking about that amount of time, I view an additional hour to hour and a half as not being a substantial addition to the trip in the overall scheme of things. So with that in mind, and with the goal of avoiding Atlanta, have you considered cutting northwest through Alabama to Birmingham? If you get yourself over to Columbus, Georgia, you could then take US-280 from Phenix City up to the Auburn/Opelika area, then continue up US-280 past Lake Martin up to the Birmingham area. I haven't been on the latter segment, but I recall the segment between Phenix City and I-85 as being a very good four-lane divided expressway-grade road. I've also been to Lake Martin and it was a scenic area, though I don't know how much of the lake and its environs you'd get to see from US-280. Traffic on rural highways in Alabama tends to be extremely light.

From Birmingham you'd go up I-65 to rejoin the route you cite.

Google Maps says this route is 1,226 miles (so 31 miles longer than the route via Atlanta) and takes 18 hours 42 minutes. The route they suggest involves exiting I-75 at Tifton and then using US-82 through Albany to Dawson and then GA-520/US-280 up to the Columbus/Phenix City area.

Of course, Birmingham can be a traffic bottleneck as well depending on the time of day, but generally nowhere near as severe as Atlanta. I think Washington Post columnist Robert Thomson (Dr. Gridlock) put it best when he said that on a long road trip, you're going to hit some city's traffic and it's just a question of whose and when.

(I thought about recommending the western portion of Georgia's Fall Line Expressway. Mapmikey had recommended the segment from Augusta to Macon for a trip I took last month and it worked very well. But the western portion is too far out of the way because you have to cut too far north towards Macon before turning west.)

I mean, I live in Atlanta and I can attest that we do we have the worst traffic!  :)

I was asking since I didn't want to have to A. deal with crazy amounts of traffic B. I didn't want to do the same route twice.

Now US 280, I know that it goes through Auburn, Opelika, Phenix City when it's going from Columbus to Birmingham. Do you know what type of road it is? I honestly never thought about this route until you mentioned it.  :-D
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 11:28:51 AM »

That planned route should be nice.  In particular, Interstate 75 north of Atlanta to Chattanooga and Interstate 24 west from Chattanooga to Nashville being the best part.

It is! The mountains when you get to Dalton are nice, and when you dip into Georgia for a few miles on I-24, that's kinda cool. It's really surprising that immediately after you come off the mountain on I-24 W (like at Exit 127/ US 64/SR 50/ Cross Plains) it's relatively flat, and stays like that. Oh yeah, and bonus for the fact that Tennessee, imho, does a really nice job with their freeways. Smart Fix I-40, I'm looking at you.

I just know that I-75 north of the city (at least now) has suburban sprawl that goes on and on and on until Cartersville, which is rougly 40 miles away  :pan:, not to mention the myriad of truck traffic heading up to Ohio and Michigan.
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1995hoo

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 11:38:46 AM »

....

Now US 280, I know that it goes through Auburn, Opelika, Phenix City when it's going from Columbus to Birmingham. Do you know what type of road it is? I honestly never thought about this route until you mentioned it.  :-D

As I noted before, I remember US-280 from Phenix City to I-85 being a nice four-lane divided expressway-grade road (meaning some at-grade intersections). I think the speed limit was 65, but I don't remember for sure, and in any event when I used that road it was a period of my life when I didn't especially care what the speed limit was because I'd go as fast as I wanted. As for the portion between I-85 and Birmingham, I've never been on that part other than perhaps some minimal segments here and there connecting between roads (I just don't remember). The pictures on AARoads make it look like a pretty good road, though:

http://www.aaroads.com/guide.php?page=u0280al
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Avalanchez71

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2014, 11:43:24 AM »

You could go SR 60 to US 441 then over to SR 91 (Florida's Turnpike).  You could also scoot over to US 231 up through Dalton over to I-65 to avoid Atlanta.  However, you would miss out on the scenery from Dalton to Manchester.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2014, 11:51:10 AM »

Yeah, it's nice alright! I'm trying to think if there is any road that goes west from Dalton over to Alabama. I mean, US 76 doesn't since it runs concurrently with US 41 up to Chattanooga.

What about some road that cuts over to US 72, which goes up to I-24 at South Pittsburg, Tennessee? What's the status of that highway? Is US 231 divided and stuff?
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2014, 11:55:52 AM »

US 231 is divided from FL all the way to Montgomery, AL.  You would need to get over to it via I-10.  You could take US 231 directly off I-10 now that US 231 is all divided in FL now or take SR 71 to SR 73 to US 231 in the Marianna, FL area.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 12:02:48 PM »

US 231 is divided from FL all the way to Montgomery, AL.  You would need to get over to it via I-10.  You could take US 231 directly off I-10 now that US 231 is all divided in FL now or take SR 71 to SR 73 to US 231 in the Marianna, FL area.

You know what, I remember as a kid going down to Destin and there being a welcome center on US 231 in Florida. I do remember it as being a nice highway, but that was 2000-2001, give 'er take. I've been on the stretch from I-10/Exit 120 up to Dothan (since we'd take US 431 up to Phenix City/Columbus and go back home to Atlanta). I'm curious to see now. :D
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 12:38:48 PM »

There is a rest area in AL as well along US 231.
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 02:36:13 PM »

There is a rest area in AL as well along US 231.

There's one at the state line, and another just north of Dothan.

You can make some good time on US 280; four lanes and limited traffic between Phenix City and Opelika - also quiet between Chelsea and US 29. Just avoid going north into Birmingham during morning rush hours, and you'll be fine.

Avalanchez71

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 02:52:46 PM »

There is a rest area in AL as well along US 231.

There's one at the state line, and another just north of Dothan.

You can make some good time on US 280; four lanes and limited traffic between Phenix City and Opelika - also quiet between Chelsea and US 29. Just avoid going north into Birmingham during morning rush hours, and you'll be fine.

US 280 is actually pretty busy but it moves.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 03:16:55 PM »

There is a rest area in AL as well along US 231.

There's one at the state line, and another just north of Dothan.

You can make some good time on US 280; four lanes and limited traffic between Phenix City and Opelika - also quiet between Chelsea and US 29. Just avoid going north into Birmingham during morning rush hours, and you'll be fine.

I just googled it and added it up. It's 537 miles from where I'll be in S. Florida to the Alabama border on US 231  :wow: So, I will definitely use that rest area!  :)

Note to self, Florida is veryyyyy long state. It's like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going...
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1995hoo

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 06:54:48 PM »

....

Note to self, Florida is veryyyyy long state. It's like the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going...

It's something like 471 miles from the southern end of I-75 to the FL/GA state line.
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 07:02:02 PM »

it's nearly 900 from the Alabama line on I-10 to Key West.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 08:24:28 PM »

it's nearly 900 from the Alabama line on I-10 to Key West.

Yep! That shows you how long the state actually goes out. If you could be like Jesus and walk on water, it'd be around 525 miles from Key West to Pensacola. Also note how Pensacola and Destin are an hour behind Tallahassee, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, and Key West.
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2014, 07:52:51 PM »

I was imagining a more westerly route, too, even more westerly than 1995’s. That is, take I-10 to Mobile AL, then get on US-98 to Hattiesburg MS, then US-49 to Jackson MS, and I-55 the rest of the way to Saint Louis.

This way is a bit further out of the way, at 1,376 miles, but the roads have much, much less traffic than either I-65 or I-75. So, if you’re looking for a bit of solitude, this might be the way for you.

It is pretty bland, scenery-wise, though, since you go around the Appalachians rather than over them.
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2014, 09:55:48 PM »

He could cut across from I-10 to US 231 to US 80 then up I-65 then cut over to I-22 (however that is done currently) then over to US 78 over to I-55 to Saint Louis.
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ElPanaChevere

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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2014, 10:15:31 AM »

I was imagining a more westerly route, too, even more westerly than 1995’s. That is, take I-10 to Mobile AL, then get on US-98 to Hattiesburg MS, then US-49 to Jackson MS, and I-55 the rest of the way to Saint Louis.

This way is a bit further out of the way, at 1,376 miles, but the roads have much, much less traffic than either I-65 or I-75. So, if you’re looking for a bit of solitude, this might be the way for you.

It is pretty bland, scenery-wise, though, since you go around the Appalachians rather than over them.

I like this idea. I-55 doesn't go through downtown Memphis whereas I-65 actually does go through downtown Nashville and forms part of that downtown loop with I-40 and I-24, so...a lot of potential merging and traffic, ick.

What type of highway is US 49 between Gulfport and Jackson? (I-10 meets US 49 at exit 34 in MS, I think).
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Re: Fort Lauderdale to St. Louis
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2014, 02:39:00 PM »

I like this idea. I-55 doesn't go through downtown Memphis whereas I-65 actually does go through downtown Nashville and forms part of that downtown loop with I-40 and I-24, so...a lot of potential merging and traffic, ick.

What type of highway is US 49 between Gulfport and Jackson? (I-10 meets US 49 at exit 34 in MS, I think).

In Gulfport, US-49 is a major arterial street, but once you get out of the city limits, it’s pretty much an expressway (two carriageways, but with intersections instead of exits) or better all the way to Jackson. Most often the route bypasses city centers, but there is at times a stoplight or two near the towns. Not every fifty feet or anything, but they do exist.
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