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Author Topic: Service-Free Sections of Interstate  (Read 14526 times)

brad2971

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Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« on: February 19, 2009, 11:34:41 AM »

We all know that fast-food (and Starbucks) has become an inseparable part of our traveling lives. While we all know about the 108-mile section of I-70 between Salina and Green River that is truly service-free, what section of interstate do you think is the longest between fast-food breaks? I have an example, but I want to hear from you folks first.

Hint: My example is a rather underrated section of service-free interstate, especially when you consider what is on this section of service-free interstate. :)
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Alps

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2009, 11:37:35 AM »

Is your section in Alaska?

brad2971

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2009, 11:44:00 AM »

Nope, it's in the Lower 48.
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un1

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2009, 11:45:40 AM »

There's a section of the I-35 in Iowa that is 40 miles without almost anything.
That is the only Interstate that I can think of. I know many more sections like that on smaller roads.
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Sykotyk

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2009, 11:49:22 AM »

I-94 in various sections throughout Montana and North Dakota are pretty sparse.

Especially from Miles City to Billings.

Sykotyk
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Marc

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2009, 12:17:42 PM »

I-55 between the metropolitan areas of Jackson, MS and Memphis, TN is not too heavily traveled and the only cities I can think of that have "service areas" are Grenada and Batesville. Canton, MS (the last bit of Jackson civilization you encounter) and Grenada are probably a good 80 to 90 miles apart. There are exits to small state highways off of I-55 that might have a tiny gas station, but other than Grenada and Batesville, there's really not much at all in terms of a full-fledged town.
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DrZoidberg

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2009, 12:34:10 PM »

I'd say I-80 west of Salt Lake City to the Nevada state line.
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akotchi

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2009, 12:51:03 PM »

There is a section of Florida's Turnpike where two interchanges are separated by 50 or 60 miles (not sure the distance).  Not sure if there is a service plaza in between, though.
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jgb191

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2009, 12:55:23 PM »

I was expecting more of the responses to be found in the desert southwest.


As soon as it's converted to an interstate, the future I-69 route will be one of the few interstates in Texas with nothing for a sustained distance.  Between Brownsville and Corpus Christi metro areas, there is a 74-mile stretch from Kingsville, TX and Raymondville, TX is strictly nothing but grassland, no gas stations, fast food, services, or signs of human civilization for that matter.

As far as current interstates, I have to point out I-10 for a few stretches, hence why the speed limit is 80 MPH between San Antonio and El Paso.

-- 60 miles between Junction and Sonora.
-- 95 miles from Ozona and Fort Stockton
-- 55 miles west of Fort Stockton.

Those stretches each might maybe one or two gas stations at most, but no fast food or services.

And finally one other spot in South Texas is the 60 miles of I-35 north of Laredo with once again absolutely nothing....not even one to be in sight from the interstate.
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brad2971

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2009, 12:57:59 PM »

"There is a section of Florida's Turnpike where two interchanges are separated by 50 or 60 miles (not sure the distance).  Not sure if there is a service plaza in between, though."

From MM 152 to MM 242, there's only one exit (Yeehaw Jct). However, there are two full-service plazas. :nod:
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brad2971

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2009, 02:42:35 PM »

"I was expecting more of the responses to be found in the desert southwest."

What I have in mind is a location in a state that is somewhat greener than the scrublands of South Texas :wave:
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DrZoidberg

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2009, 02:56:02 PM »

What about I-75 Alligator Alley?  That seems to be a long stretch w/o any services.
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brad2971

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2009, 03:48:12 PM »

Not quite that green :sombrero:
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DrZoidberg

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2009, 03:56:05 PM »

I-90 in western Montana?
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Greybear

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2009, 04:18:54 PM »

How about I-30 between Mt. Pleasant (M/M 162) and New Boston (M/M 199) in Texas. There are only six interchanges in a roughly 40 mile stretch of interstate. Exits 165 and 192 are the only interchanges that have at least one service station.

Another stretch of highway that has little or no services that I'm aware of is I-35/KTA between Exit 76 and Exit 127. In that roughly 50 mile stretch of highway, there is only one interchange, Exit 76, and no services.
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V'Ger

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2009, 04:24:47 PM »

I-5 in the central valley has many stretches without anything.
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mightyace

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2009, 04:47:25 PM »

The three of Kentucky's parkways that I've traveled (Bluegrass, Natcher, and Breathitt) have little or no services along them.
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Duke87

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2009, 07:09:18 PM »

There is a section of Florida's Turnpike where two interchanges are separated by 50 or 60 miles (not sure the distance).  Not sure if there is a service plaza in between, though.

It's 41 miles (between exit 152 and exit 193). And there is a service plaza in there, at mile 184.

This is definitely the longest distance between interchanges on any highway in the US, and it just might be the longest in the world.

A few other honorable mentions:

- I-80, Nevada Utah (exits 4-41, 37 miles)
- I-70/76, Pennsylvania (exits 110-146, 36 miles)
- I-90, Massachusetts (exits 2-3*, 29 miles)

*would be 11-40 if milepost numbered
« Last Edit: February 20, 2009, 01:56:27 PM by Duke87 »
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corco

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2009, 07:40:14 PM »

I-90 between Buffalo and Gillette, Wyo. There are no services between exits 58 and exit 124, and all the interchanges along that stretch are those substandard 90 degree deals that lead to dirt roads

roadfro

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2009, 02:02:43 AM »

It's 41 miles [on Florida's Turnpike] (between exit 152 and exit 193). And there is a service plaza in there, at mile 184.

This is definitely the longest distance between interchanges on any highway in the US, and it just might be the longest in the world.

Really?  This seems unlikely to me.

A few other honorable mentions:
- I-80, Nevada (exits 4-41, 37 miles)

Two things wrong with this, Duke:  First, there is no exit 41 on NV I-80; it goes from exit 40 to exit 43.  I'll assume you meant exits 4-40.  Then the second issue is that there are 21 interchanges in that range, with 13 of them serving the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area.

The greatest distance between interchanges on I-80 in Nevada is 17 miles, between Fernely and the next interchange east.  Now, there definitely aren't services at every exit.  Taking a quick glance at a map and exit list but not having driven the highway myself, I'd estimate there are 40-50 mile stretches between actual towns where there are no services.
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Duke87

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2009, 01:54:53 PM »

Two things wrong with this, Duke:  First, there is no exit 41 on NV I-80; it goes from exit 40 to exit 43.  I'll assume you meant exits 4-40. 

Actually, I meant Utah, not Nevada.  :banghead:
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SSOWorld

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2009, 08:57:56 AM »

I-5 in the Central Valley of California
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brad2971

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2009, 01:01:00 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Here was the "service-free" section of interstate I was thinking of:

Let's say you're heading back east after a decent vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. You stayed at one of the motels off I-90 Exit 61 on the east side of Rapid City. After filling up, you headed into the McDonalds for breakfast (or the Arbys for lunch, if you checked out a little late ;-)) before heading east. Your next fast-food break won't come until Exit 260 @ the Missouri River, a 200-mile trek.

Even if it weren't for the omnipresence of the world famous Wall Drug @Exit 109 :wow:, it is highly unlikely any McDonalds/BK/Wendys/TacoBell franchisee will put up a store along that stretch of road. On that stretch, even though there are at least a dozen Mom-and-Pop gas stations and a few cafes, there isn't a town that has more than 800 people in it.

Think of it this way: Even Ozona and Sonora on I-10 in West Texas have Sonic Drive-Ins. Even Gila Bend on I-8 (before turning off onto SR 85 toward Phoenix) has a McDonalds and a Taco Bell right at Exit 115. Not to mention that quite a few exits on I-5 in the Central Valley (Buttonwillow, Lost Hills, Coalinga) have full services. :nod:
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lamsalfl

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2009, 04:05:26 AM »

I-49 in LA has some vast stretches.  And I-59 in MS?  Shoot me.
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Anthony_JK

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Re: Service-Free Sections of Interstate
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2009, 02:08:01 PM »

I'm guessing that Louisiana's philosophy about rest areas is basically that since most folk will be using private gas stations and truck stops to rest and relieve themselves, they don't see the need for rest areas as much.

That might explain why they didn't open that many on I-49.

The Thistlewaite rest area between Opelousas and Bunkie, though, is pretty nice...especially for the view of the Coteau Ridge and Dubisson Lake.


Anthony
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