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Author Topic: 3/22 Trip: Metro Madison to Laramie WY  (Read 269 times)

thspfc

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3/22 Trip: Metro Madison to Laramie WY
« on: March 30, 2019, 02:37:54 PM »

Our annual ski trip began with a long day of driving to Laramie, Wyoming where we stayed the first night. We left home at 5:05 AM Central time and arrived in Laramie at 6:05 PM Mountain time, for a drive time of 14 hours minus the hour we gained because of time zones. Notes from the trip . . .

-We got on I-39/90/94 S/EB from US-51.
-We took 39/90/94 to the Beltline, and exited at Verona Road (US-18/151). The Verona Road project that has been going nonstop for the past decade continues to move along at a very slow pace. The BGS'es are up at where interchanges will be (McKee Rd and Raymond Rd I think), but don't have words on them. It looks to be very nice once the entire thing is complete - you might be able to get from Sun Prairie to Verona in a reasonable time soon  :spin:
-The sun started to come up behind us around Mineral Point.
-That section of US-151 from about Platteville to the US-61 split in Iowa never gets old. The view of Dubuque in the early morning going across the bridge is amazing.
-We took US-151 towards Cedar Rapids. The stretch of lights through DBQ didn't cause any problems.
-Once in the Cedar Rapids area, we took the typical east and southern bypass of US-151 to US-30 to get to I-380. US-30 could use a resurfacing if nothing else in that area.
-IADOT is in the process of major construction at the I-80 and I-380 interchange in Coralville. I heard they're transforming the cloverleaf into a turbine because trucks kept overturning on the loop ramps.
-Construction is also taking place on I-35/80 through Des Moines. Are they working on smoothing out the slow curve at IA-141?
-The biggest construction in the midwest right now might be in Council Bluffs. There's a whole bunch of stuff going on at the I-29 and I-80 interchanges. Also, what's the "S Expressway"? There are BGS'es displaying that name in Council Bluffs.
-Electronic signs in Iowa read, "I-29 SOUTH CLOSED - USE I-35 SOUTH". Due to the Missouri River flooding. For traffic in Omaha/CB, it seems like really far to backtrack for flooding. Why not just use US-75 or US-59?
-There is also construction on the Nebraska side, at the I-80 and I-480/US-75 interchange south of downtown. I-80 WB went down to two lanes through there, which caused a minor bottleneck but no serious congestion.
-The designers of the Beltline should learn from NDOT. The Beltline and I-80 between I-480 and I-680 in metro Omaha are similar highways, but I-80 flows much better.
-The rest of I-80 in Nebraska is boring and doesn't ever end. The most interesting things are the frequent trains that chug along on your right. It was my first time taking it west of I-76, and that stretch is the most wide open Interstate I've ever driven. It really feels like the Wild West.
-Cheyenne, Wyoming was exactly like I expected it to be. Lots of trains, lots of dirty pickups, and a massive oil rig thing. It does have a Wal-Mart distribution center, though, which is impressive for a sleepy town in Wyoming.
-It started snowing about 5 minutes out of Cheyenne. We were shocked because the thermometer had read 61 in Nebraska, so we didn't bother to check the weather.
-I-80 just east of Laramie hits a peak elevation of 8,640 feet, I believe the highest on the Interstate system outside of Colorado. What's remarkable is that I-80 climbs 7,000 feet from the Missouri River (elev. 1,000 ft) to this summit without any mountain passes, really.
-We stayed in the Hampton Inn off of BUS-80 in Laramie. Laramie seems like a nice college town. They're probably disappointed in Josh Allen though.
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Verlanka

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Re: 3/22 Trip: Metro Madison to Laramie WY
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 06:49:35 AM »

-Electronic signs in Iowa read, "I-29 SOUTH CLOSED - USE I-35 SOUTH". Due to the Missouri River flooding. For traffic in Omaha/CB, it seems like really far to backtrack for flooding. Why not just use US-75 or US-59?

Probably to keep most people from checking out the floodwaters of the Missouri. :-D
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