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Author Topic: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize  (Read 550 times)

Mapmikey

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Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« on: January 26, 2018, 03:23:37 PM »

Drove to Galveston recently to pick up a cruise ship to Cozumel, Belieze, and Roatan (Honduras)...

Left home on Jan 9 after freezing rain overnight.  Took standard way to I-64 using VA 3, VA 20, US 15, VA 231, VA 22, US 250.  Roads were okay EXCEPT on VA 231 which had iced back over and two wrecks had us at a standstill while vehicles were pulled out of ditches and VDOT retreated the road.  Took a little side trip to Blacksburg for lunch and saw the ne VA 314 interchange on US 460.  Looks nice...still needs the BGSs installed.  Rest of the day down I-81, I-40, and I-75 to Cleveland TN were uneventful.

On day 2, Chattanooga was saddled with a wreck on I-75 but otherwise the tail end of rush hour was not that bad.  Opted to take US 11 from where it leaves US 41-64-72.  There is a one-lane underpass on US 11 for a railroad shortly before it heads into Georgia.  US 11 through Georgia is decent...just the one real place of Trenton to slow you down.  Continued on US 11 all the way past Attalla before a detour forced us onto I-59.  US 11 through northeastern Alabama wasn't bad either...even its passage through Attalla and Fort Payne were pretty painless.  On I-59 northeast of Birmingham they are removing trees off both shoulders.  In a segment where no lanes were blocked, the contractor managed to cause a tree to fall across the interstate.  Fortunately nobody was hit and we were all able to slow down without running into one another.  I opted to used I-59 through downtown Birmingham to get pics of the remaining button copy and slotted BGSs still standing.  Most of these were at the I-65 and US 78 interchanges.  Construction of a new I-65 interchange is fully underway and I assume all the left exits will be changed to right-side exits.  Remaining day along I-59 and I-12 to Baton Rouge was uneventful.  Due to time considerations I did not bail onto US 11 leaving Meridian like I was going to.

On day 3 we used US 190 to Kinder and US 165 down to US 90.  Those ugly 165 shields are still up at I-10 and US 90.  Followed US 90 into Texas.  I-10 to the eastern Houston area was posted mostly as 65 mph for some reason.  Used TX 146 to TX 225 to do some thrift shopping.  The skies unloaded and flooding rains made driving treacherous.  Worked my way to TX 3 down to Nassau Bay where we stayed 2 nights waiting on the cruise.  The free day we had was 45 degrees and blustery so we didn't venture out much - just to check out a Bucees (one of the smaller ones from what I gather).  It appears that TX 96 is erroneous posted west of I-45.

Used TX 3 to reach the Galveston Causeway, then went all the way through Galveston to pick up TX 275 to backtrack to the cruise port.  There is an error US 87 shield in Galveston.

In Cozumel we took a bus tour to the island's largest Mayan ruins followed by a visit to a beach on the far side of the island for authentic tacos and a non-crowded ocean view.  There is a posted route: Federal C-1 that may or may not encircle the southwest half of the island.  I didn't see much craziness on the roads there.

In Belize, we visited Xunantunich Mayan Ruins which is on the Guatemalan border, about 75 miles inland.  Motoring around Belize is a little different...there are essentially no stoplights anywhere (guide said there were 4 in the whole country).  While there are posted speed limits (55 max), there is no speed enforcement (the only electronic speed monitor I saw showed us going 56 in a 15 mph limit area) except they install speed bumps (sometimes just large ropes) at the edge of towns and schools and anywhere else they want motorists to actually slow down.  People passed on hills, near curves, and within towns on sidewalks or in between the lanes of traffic...just nuts.  There are only 4 paved highways (no route numbers used) in Belize.  The one we were on was like a good state highway from Belize City to Belmopan (capital) then west of there it was more like a Virginia secondary road with no striping.  They did build a truck bypass of San Ignacio which is the largest town near the Guatemalan border.  Something neat is that to access the ruins you had to ferry across a river - a hand cranked cable ferry that can handle cars (but not a tour bus - we were on foot then).

Roatan is an island off the coast of Honduras that has one main road that might be on the Honduran system (visibility from our tour van was poor).  Traffic was extremely heavy, so mopeds were passing left, right, and center.  Oddly, there is a Bojangles restaurant on this relatively small island which is 40 miles off the mainland.

Coming home from Galveston we used TX 146 back to I-10, then opted to use TX 73 to bypass Beaumont.  The western half of TX 73 has a 75 mph speed limit (higher than I-10) and there are only a few stoplights along the 45 miles it uses to work its way back to I-10 at Orange.  I recommend this as a break from I-10.  We used US 165 and drove to Monroe so that we could visit Poverty Point World Heritage site the following morning, which is a few miles east of LA 17 in Epps.  We used LA 17 into Arkansas and AR 159 to US 65.  Then we followed US 82 all the way to Tuscaloosa AL.  The traffic lights in Greenville MS are badly mis-timed but otherwise it is an excellent route across Mississippi.  I saw the Greenville bypass alignment that is partially constructed and wished it were open to at least MS 1 which would help through-travelers.  Despite RMcN's insistance, US 82 is not 4-laned from the MS/AL line to tuscaloosa.  They just started construction of the last 7 mile segment (bypass of Gordo).  From there we took all interstate back to Virginia, though I managed to drive I-759 when I went and got dinner by myself when staying in Attalla the last night.

Stats:
2998 miles driven (USA)
3 new countries
15 new counties/parishes

New clinches:
I-275 (TN); I-759 (AL); US 11 (GA); US 82 (MS); TX 3; TN 38; GA 58; TX 73; TX 225; TX 275

Picked up significant mileage:
US 11 (65 miles south from GA line); US 82 (MS line to I-20/59); US 90 (TX line to US 165); US 165 from US 90 to Monroe; LA 17 (I-20 to AR); TX 146 from I-45 to I-10
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Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 05:43:52 PM »

Which beach did you go to on Cozumel’s east side (if you saw the name)?
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Mapmikey

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Re: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 08:13:45 PM »

Which beach did you go to on Cozumel’s east side (if you saw the name)?

May have been called El Mirador...

It was here: https://goo.gl/maps/qzXH2PpxEE82
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Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

1995hoo

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Re: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 09:15:43 AM »

Which beach did you go to on Cozumel’s east side (if you saw the name)?

May have been called El Mirador...

It was here: https://goo.gl/maps/qzXH2PpxEE82

Just curious because I wondered where they bus people to. Our two favorites on the east side are Mezcalito's and Chen Rio but I doubted the buses go to those two.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

froggie

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Re: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 08:19:36 AM »

Quote
Construction of a new I-65 interchange is fully underway and I assume all the left exits will be changed to right-side exits.

It's not a new I-65 interchange per se...the core 20/59/65 interchange will remain as-is (complete with keeping the existing left-side exits/entrances).  What you saw was construction of what will be additional new ramps to/from the downtown area.  This map shows what is being done.

Quote
Then we followed US 82 all the way to Tuscaloosa AL.  The traffic lights in Greenville MS are badly mis-timed but otherwise it is an excellent route across Mississippi.  I saw the Greenville bypass alignment that is partially constructed and wished it were open to at least MS 1 which would help through-travelers.

A usable alternative is to take MS 454 after coming off the river bridge, taking that to MS 1 then turning right at VFW Rd.  After a couple miles, the roadway curves to the left and becomes Raceway Rd which then meets back up with US 82.  There are only two signals along this path (where you turn on/off MS 1 and US 82) and IIRC the speed limits are generally a mix of 45 and 55.  There's even still some concrete along MS 1 which is fairly rare in Mississippi.

Quote
Despite RMcN's insistance, US 82 is not 4-laned from the MS/AL line to tuscaloosa.  They just started construction of the last 7 mile segment (bypass of Gordo).

That's piece-of-cake.  I can remember back when the only 4-lane segments through there were tiny bits (not even continuous) between Gordo and the west side of Tuscaloosa.  It's only been within the last 15-20 years that ALDOT got serious about 4-laning the corridor.

Though technically 4-lane, the segment through Reform is undivided without a center turn lane, so that's also a segment that technically needs improvement.

I'm presuming they finally wrapped up the 4-laning between Reform and the west side of Gordo.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Virginia to Galveston, plus a bus across Belize
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2018, 07:32:16 PM »

Thanks for the tip for Greenville...I probably will end up over there again sometime...my wife really liked US 82.

The 4-laning of 82 between Reform and Gordo was open.
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Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

 


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