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Old February 11th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #5241
FM 2258
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This can fall under Interstate and Non-Interstate since this page discusses both, here is a link to the TxDOT highway signing policy:

http://onlinemanuals.txdot.gov/txdot...components.htm

[IMG]http://i49.************/e7b493.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i50.************/14weiow.jpg[/IMG]
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Old February 11th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #5242
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Guys any chance of posting some pictures from upper midwest?
North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska. I hope to go there this summer.
Any tips about road conditions?
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Old February 11th, 2010, 06:28 PM   #5243
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One of my favorite states:
image hosted on flickr
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Old February 11th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #5244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker View Post
As Texas standards go, this is a rather small interchange.

What I find "weird" about it, is there appears to be a major off-ramp on the right of the pic that seemingly leads directly into a bunch of empty lots. That is indeed weird, unless it was planned to be something else at one time.
That's what I saw in first place too. Besides weird, it's very unsafety, with those left exits and entrances, pretty crappy for Texas Standards. I can't identify another interchange in Texas with this features.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #5245
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I-20/59 @ I-459, 19 miles SW of Downtown Birmingham. Sorry for the bad quality

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Old February 13th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #5246
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18-wheelers are suppose to use I-459 if passing thru, except if they are going to I-65 north


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Old February 13th, 2010, 03:37 PM   #5247
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The american motorways are good, but not up to european standard.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 06:29 PM   #5248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
One of my favorite states:

[Oklahoma map]
Why?
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Old February 13th, 2010, 06:44 PM   #5249
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I don't know, I find it interesting, the geography, cities, freeways, toll roads. For some reason some states appeal more to me than others (in a non-touristic sense).
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Old February 13th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #5250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I don't know, I find it interesting, the geography, cities, freeways, toll roads. For some reason some states appeal more to me than others (in a non-touristic sense).
It happens to me to. But in my case different states appeal to me at different times. At the moment im fascinated by both Dakotas. To such extent that I might go there this summer.
That's why I'm asking again about any pictures or information about interstates and other highways in Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.
How about quality of roads in above states? I have driven on both coasts and all the I-10 from Atlantic to Pacific but I've never been in Midwest.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 08:37 PM   #5251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
I don't know, I find it interesting, the geography, cities, freeways, toll roads. For some reason some states appeal more to me than others (in a non-touristic sense).
I wondered. I grew up next door, and I like to visit Oklahoma from time to time. But its freeway network looks better on paper than it does in real life, the two-lane highways are tricky (especially in the eastern part of the state), and it has a rather strange political landscape (think James Inhofe, "Alfalfa Bill" Murray, . . .). It was an early-rising giant in the oil industry (during the 1920's about 10% of world oil production was controlled by the Marland Oil Company, headquartered in Ponca City), so a lot of very large fortunes were made very fast and that has left behind a sort of nouveau-riche sensibility evident in eyeblink Versailleses like the Phillips mansion in Tulsa (now home to a major art museum) and the Marland mansion in Ponca City.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
That's why I'm asking again about any pictures or information about interstates and other highways in Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.
There is pretty good coverage of Nebraska and the Dakotas--I can't remember offhand if AARoads.com has in-depth Interstate coverage for these states, but Chris Geelhart has had websites on roads in the Dakotas for years and I think they are still accessible through a Google search.

My own pictures are here:

Nebraska:

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596060.html

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596056.html

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596056.html

South Dakota:

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596067.html

North Dakota:

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596246.html

There is not a whole lot of point to visiting the Dakotas without also seeing part of Wyoming. I have Wyoming pictures here:

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596088.html

http://winklers-roads.fotopic.net/c596256.html

Quote:
How about quality of roads in above states? I have driven on both coasts and all the I-10 from Atlantic to Pacific but I've never been in Midwest.
Interstates are built to the same standards nationwide and since Nebraska, Dakota, and much of eastern Wyoming are all flat terrain, a 70 MPH design speed is used in rural areas. (The posted speed limit in these areas is 75 MPH except in North Dakota, where it is 70 MPH.) But actually the Interstates make for very boring driving. Two-lane roads are generally quite good, with full hard shoulders and 65 MPH limits in flat rural areas (generally 60 MPH in Nebraska). There are some exceptions, though--the Needles Highway (a big tourist thing in Custer State Park in South Dakota) is narrow and tortuous. Most of the state highways have long lengths in the Black Hills which are narrow, tortuous, or both.

I do highly recommend a visit to the Dakotas, but remember two things: (1) bison have priority in traffic; and (2) it becomes very hard to drive during the week of the motorcycle rally in Sturgis (typically held in early August) because there are literally thousands of Harleys on the roads. Be sure to see Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and try to time your visit Badlands National Park in South Dakota for sunset.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 09:18 PM   #5252
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Remember that '75 mph' = about 120 km/h. Any car that you rent will likely show both scales on the speedometer or can be easily switched to show either way.

Much of the Dakotas are high-prairie and plains, getting hillier as you go westward from the Missouri River - very desolate, REMOTE and starkly beautiful. It is one of the most sparsely populated sections of North America - a great place to get away from everything and just wander while not being too far from civilization.

Road quality is generally very good, although a large percentage of non-state highway side roads are gravel-surfaced, especially in the more remote areas. 'State' highway route markers in North Dakota use the outline of a profile of an Indian Chief's head while South Dakota uses an outline of the state's border.

Besides the other places, by all means check out the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. The well-known Mount Rushmore sculpture is there, a bit south of Rapid City, SD (Sturgis, SD is about 50 km northwest of RC on I-90). Check out the ongoing 100% privately-financed work at the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial sculpture, too.

The interiors of both states are in a steady, long-term economic decline with interesting to explore small, dusty farming ghost towns scattered all over while the larger cities are growing - it adds to my wonder and intrigue of that area. The Missouri River valley and its dam flowage lakes are a must-visit, too.

The second-tallest ground-supported man-made structure in the World is in North Dakota - the KVLY-TV transmitter tower, supplanted by Burj Dubai (or whatever it is now called) as the tallest a couple of years ago, is just off of I-29 between Fargo and Grand Forks, ND. (No, it doesn't have an observation deck. )

Climate, summers can be hot, with high temps getting into the 35-40 range on many days. 30-35 is more normal. Spring thunderstorms are the stuff of legend while winters are cold (night time lows can get down into the -30 to -40 range and colder, -10 to -20 is normal) with occasional life-threatening snowstorms/blizzards. Bring a supply of water with you when driving around in the more remote parts.

The Dakotas have extensive Google-Earth Streetview coverage, so by all means spend some time poking around there for ideas of the scenery and local cultures.

Enjoy visiting this out of the way part of the USA - an unimaginably vast and varied nation!



Mike
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Old February 13th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #5253
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Oklahoma is OK OMG!

To me, North Carolina is the most interesting state, mainly because when it comes to new roads getting built, anything can happen there.
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Old February 13th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #5254
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I rather wish more was. I can remember the summer of 2003 when NCDOT had so many big contracts to let (including parts of the Painter Blvd. outer beltway for Greensboro and I-73/I-74) that two lettings had to be held in the month of July. That was a long time ago and since then NCDOT has gone through about four years of funding crisis.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 05:06 AM   #5255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 958 View Post
Oklahoma is OK OMG!

To me, North Carolina is the most interesting state, mainly because when it comes to new roads getting built, anything can happen there.
Lol...I beg to differ. Texas is where it's at when it comes to roads....Texas is the best.


Probably no surprise that I would say something like that.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #5256
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Quote:
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Lol...I beg to differ. Texas is where it's at when it comes to roads....Texas is the best.


Probably no surprise that I would say something like that.
hmmmmm. in what category, best for congestion or show-off type? You guys win both , and no i'm not jealous , i have more in the NE to crush you guys in a Contest so ha! I like Washington state or the New England states, 5x better then Texas.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #5257
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I would say Texas is a winner in terms of state DOT transparency. I haven't had any difficulty getting information I have requested from TxDOT: they answer promptly without any get-out clauses. PA and NJ are paranoia central (see Winkler v. Turnpike Commission for an example). NY should do E-plans, but doesn't. For a high level of transparency you have to go to MA and ME.

WSDOT is probably the national champion in the transparency sweepstakes though.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #5258
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@ mgk920 & J N Winkler

Thanks for all the suggestions. I completely forgot about AAroads.com
I looked at some of the pictures there and on Google Earth, and it seems that quality of pavement on some parts of the I-94 is quite bad.

My plans are more or less as follows:
Flying to Minneapolis then long drive to Theodore Roosevelt NP, then south to the Black Hills region and Badlands NP. Few days there and then to Nebraska where I want to drive Sandhills Scenic Byway (Nebraska Hwy 2) to Grand Island. From there my plan is to drive I-80 all the way to Mississippi River and then follow Great River Road back to Minneapolis.
I drove in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho or eastern Oregon so I'm familiar with long open highways. I love them actually
I hope to encounter some spectacular thunderstorms too.

How about speed enforcement in Dakotas or Nebraska? I always drive 5-10 mph over the limit. I was once stopped in Wyoming for doing 75-80 in 65 zone but as a tourist I only got a warning. It was bloody middle of nowhere, somewhere on US-189.
I also wonder how about accommodation in some of the more remote parts of Dakotas or Nebraska. During my travels I usually stay in roadside motels listed in discount coupons booklets which I collect stopping at state welcome centers. But most of them are alongside interstates. Nebraska Hwy 2 for example seems pretty remote. Sometimes I camp, usually when I'm in National Parks.

I'm really looking forward to this trip.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #5259
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There are campgrounds in both Badlands NP and Theodore Roosevelt NP. If you get up really early at the latter, say six AM, you are rising with the bison since the campground is on the way to their watering spot. Unfortunately there are no hot showers, though there are RV parks nearby with tent sites and hot showers.

Motels and campgrounds are pretty thin on the ground through the Sand Hills portion of Neb. 2. However, there is plenty of cheap lodging in Alliance (on the west end of the Sand Hills stretch) and in Broken Bow (just before you get into the Sand Hills proper). I think there may be a truck stop with overnight accommodation in Thedford, but I'm not sure--it's been a long time since I was down that way.

I wouldn't recommend driving 5-10 MPH above the speed limit except when passing--the speed limits are now pretty close to the 85th percentile and also to the natural limits imposed by geometric design. I would also suggest a less Interstate-focused itinerary because long drives on Interstates are highly monotonous in this part of the country, while the two-lane state highways are generally uncongested and highly rewarding in terms of scenery.
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Old February 14th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #5260
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geogregor View Post
@ mgk920 & J N Winkler

Thanks for all the suggestions. I completely forgot about AAroads.com
I looked at some of the pictures there and on Google Earth, and it seems that quality of pavement on some parts of the I-94 is quite bad.

My plans are more or less as follows:
Flying to Minneapolis then long drive to Theodore Roosevelt NP, then south to the Black Hills region and Badlands NP. Few days there and then to Nebraska where I want to drive Sandhills Scenic Byway (Nebraska Hwy 2) to Grand Island. From there my plan is to drive I-80 all the way to Mississippi River and then follow Great River Road back to Minneapolis.
I drove in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho or eastern Oregon so I'm familiar with long open highways. I love them actually
I hope to encounter some spectacular thunderstorms too.

How about speed enforcement in Dakotas or Nebraska? I always drive 5-10 mph over the limit. I was once stopped in Wyoming for doing 75-80 in 65 zone but as a tourist I only got a warning. It was bloody middle of nowhere, somewhere on US-189.
I also wonder how about accommodation in some of the more remote parts of Dakotas or Nebraska. During my travels I usually stay in roadside motels listed in discount coupons booklets which I collect stopping at state welcome centers. But most of them are alongside interstates. Nebraska Hwy 2 for example seems pretty remote. Sometimes I camp, usually when I'm in National Parks.

I'm really looking forward to this trip.
The roadway surfaces of some of the interstates in the high plains can look a bit threadbare, but they apparently still give a very smooth ride. The weather there can be very rugged (thus the 'threadbare' look), however traffic is light enough that the surface doesn't get bashed to hell like it can in other places. Same with the non-interstate two-laners.

For accommodations, check several of the discount motel chains, there are usually one or two of these motels in all but the smallest of cities. Super 8, Days Inn, Motel 6 and other similar places are well represented in that region and are decent. Rates are usually in the $35-50/night range.

At Grand Island, NE and on westward along US 30 is the World's busiest freight railroad. Union Pacific's mainline carries 120-150 BIG trains/day (15-20 minute headways in both directions) from a junction about 50 km to the west of Grand Island (Gibbon, NE) and on westward most of the way across Nebraska. There is a new public observation platform by their largest in the World yard at North Platte, NE. NE 2 closely follows BNSF's access to the Wyoming coalfields and their railroad there is also quite busy, but not to UP's extent. Their mainlines cross in Grand Island.

When traveling northward between the Quad Cities to MStP, by all means cross over to Wisconsin at Dubuque, IA and follow the eastern Great River Road (most of it is WI 35, but it uses several different numbered routes between Dubuque and Prairie du Chein, WI) along the river to US 10 at Prescott, WI, crossing the river into Minnesota there - STUNNING scenery!

Also, consider following US 30 across Iowa, it goes through many of those neat little towns and you can then follow US 67 and 52 from Clinton, IA to Dubuque, IA.

July and August are a bit late in the year for the really wild plains thunderstorm season.

If you are in the MStP area when the Twins are home (American League baseball), you might want to go to a game to check out their new downtown Minneapolis stadium, opening this year.

Enjoy!

Mike
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