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Old June 26th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #861
ChrisZwolle
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Wisconsin has strange system where their county roads are marked with letters rater than numbers. Why is that?
Missouri has that too.
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Old June 26th, 2010, 10:05 AM   #862
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I couldn't believe he made it
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Old June 26th, 2010, 02:45 PM   #863
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Great pics, I'm really loving these. Thanks!
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Old June 27th, 2010, 02:52 AM   #864
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Looks like you found some very good train action on your roadtrip, too!



NE 2 parallels a major access to one of the World's richest coalfields, located in eastern Wyoming, and there are major mainlines on both sides of the Mississippi River in the upper midwest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Missouri has that too.
Missouri's 'lettered' highways are actually lower-class state highways. Wisconsin's lettered highways, OTOH, are indeed county highways. Why the letters and the unique-in-the-USA signs? That's the way it's been in the state since Wisconsin first began numbering highways in the late 1910s/early 1920s, likely to differentiate county highways from state highways. Each county in Wisconsin uses its own lettering pool.

As for road quality, overall Wisconsin has very good state highways. Counties can be hit or miss, but many build and maintain them at higher standards than many states do their regular state highways. The area of Wisconsin generally west of about Madison was never glaciated during the various Ice Ages, while most of the rest of the state was covered several times. The scenery through most of the state is very similar to that found throughout Germany and Poland, as well as much of the rest of the non-mountainous parts of Europe, with a very similar climate. It has been a natural magnet for MANY immigrants from throughout that area ever since statehood in 1848.

And yes, away from the interstates, Illinois roads are pure crap! Many Illinois state highways are worse than many local rural township roads here in Wisconsin.



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Old June 27th, 2010, 04:29 AM   #865
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
NE 2 parallels a major access to one of the World's richest coalfields, located in eastern Wyoming, and there are major mainlines on both sides of the Mississippi River in the upper midwest.
Yes, there were many trains passing by. All of them with coal carriages.

Quote:
As for road quality, overall Wisconsin has very good state highways.
Not all of them. WI35 along Mississippi is hit or miss as well. There are some excellent section (like those on my pictures) but also some really bad ones which I didn't photograph. Also WI11 in some parts (around Monroe if I remember) was in bad condition.
Quote:
Counties can be hit or miss, but many build and maintain them at higher standards than many states do their regular state highways.
Quote:
The area of Wisconsin generally west of about Madison was never glaciated during the various Ice Ages, while most of the rest of the state was covered several times.
This south western corner of Wisconsin is called driftless area i I remember.

Quote:
The scenery through most of the state is very similar to that found throughout Germany and Poland, as well as much of the rest of the non-mountainous parts of Europe, with a very similar climate. It has been a natural magnet for MANY immigrants from throughout that area ever since statehood in 1848.
It's true, in some moments I felt like in Europe. Especially in New Glarus

Quote:
And yes, away from the interstates, Illinois roads are pure crap!
Interstates are bad as well.

During my trip I was really surprised how well both Dakotas and Iowa maintain roads comparing with more populous states like Illinois or Wisconsin.
Nebraska highways were OK, with exception of some parts of NE2 which runs in some really remote regions and also on difficult sand ground.
But really the worst was I-94 in Minnesota, immediately west of Twin Cities. Concrete slabs with huge gaps between them. Also some slabs were lifted or dropped increasing discomfort. The were repairing it but in really stupid way. Cutting joints out and placing there new narrow slabs between the old ones. It means even more joints which are only slightly smoother. Total crap. I haven't seen such bad roads since they rebuilt A4 in Poland from Wroclaw to German border

Another bunch of bad roads were many highways creating Great River Road along Mississippi. Especially in Illinois where GRR runs partly on some county highways partly on state highways. Both types of roads are mostly very poor in that state. But also some parts of GRR in Wisconsin and Iowa (which in general has great roads) were in pretty bad shape. It is shame as it is great scenic road, supposedly one of the classic American drives. I guess it is because GRR runs mostly through rural regions which are not priority for road authorities.

In general I found roads during this trip much more diverse in term of quality than in most of European countries or even other US regions.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 09:22 AM   #866
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Minnesota also has some county roads that are lettered rather than numbered.. but I think they're moving away from that. All county roads in my county are numbered.
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Old June 27th, 2010, 09:05 PM   #867
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I will say, though, that the fact that you got OFF of the interstates and onto the surface highways and through those small towns infinitely improved your USA roadtrip. The upper midwest and the northern high-plains (the parts outside of the big cities - Chicago, MStP, Milwaukee, etc) are a part of the USA that many foreign tourists ignore - much to their loss.

What you experienced is a slice of what many here refer to as 'Middle-America'.



Mike
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Old June 28th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #868
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Today i went on a few highways , lots of Construction going on....

Garden State Parkway Southbound

Bloomfield Toll Gate

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Exiting....

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Up Next > Newark - Jersey City pike , US 1/9 , and various County Roads

~Corey
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Old June 28th, 2010, 02:04 AM   #869
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I will say, though, that the fact that you got OFF of the interstates and onto the surface highways and through those small towns infinitely improved your USA roadtrip. The upper midwest and the northern high-plains (the parts outside of the big cities - Chicago, MStP, Milwaukee, etc) are a part of the USA that many foreign tourists ignore - much to their loss.

What you experienced is a slice of what many here refer to as 'Middle-America'.



Mike
That is what I like the most in US. I've seen a lot of so called "major tourist sites" on my previous trips. They are obviously exciting (especially national parks) but I always try to mix them with some wandering along middle of nowhere.
On this trip Black Hills and Badlands can be called highlights which many people even in Europe recognizes but Nebraska or even Mississippi Great River Road ar as interesting, if not more, but rather unknown.

I have ambition to visit all lower 48 states at some point. Still have some left but probably less than half
For some reason Kansas really sticks in my head. I don't know why. Name? Imagination? Stereotype of classic middle America? It might be my next visit
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Old June 28th, 2010, 07:24 AM   #870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
I will say, though, that the fact that you got OFF of the interstates and onto the surface highways and through those small towns infinitely improved your USA roadtrip. The upper midwest and the northern high-plains (the parts outside of the big cities - Chicago, MStP, Milwaukee, etc) are a part of the USA that many foreign tourists ignore - much to their loss.

What you experienced is a slice of what many here refer to as 'Middle-America'.



Mike
I, yesterday (Saturday) had all day to get from Pittsburgh to Erie, which should take less than two hours by Interstate, so I thought, what the hell - I'll see some back roads in Ohio: Went US 22 from Pittsburgh to Steubenville, then Ohio 7, Ohio 45 - detour onto Ohio 11 because of construction - Ohio 14, Ohio 534 - detour through local streets in Newton Falls because of an auto show in the main street - up to I-90. It was a bit gloomy south of Salem (perhaps because of the weather) but nice farther north. That part of Ohio, known as the Western Reserve, was claimed by Connecticut until 1802, and the first non-Native-American settlers were from there. I'd noticed on maps that the place names feel very New England, but there were a few small towns with New England-style village greens. It really did feel, for a bit, like Connecticut would, if Connecticut were flat and all the roads were straight :-)
Today (Sunday), I was forced off I-80 west of DuBois, Pa., by a backup (snarls at Penndot for thinking a nice Sunday afternoon in the summer is a good time to be repaving - the state trooper I ran into in the Sheetz (TM) during my detour, whom I asked whether I should get back on there, informed me the actual repaving was about 15 miles ahead of where the backup started). Since I'd been planning to get off at State College onto US 322, I just found 322 and followed it all the way to Harrisburg. Beautiful country I hadn't seen before. So even being forced to leave the Interstate turned out not to be a bad thing.
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Old June 29th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #871
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CR 508 Eastbound

Going under the New Jersey Turnpike Eastern & Western Spurs

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Merging with NJ 7

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The Hackensack River span of the Pulaski Skyway

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Whitpenn Bridge being replaced by 2013

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Entering Jersey City

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Future Whitpenn Bridge

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Tonnelle Avenue Circle

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US 1/9 Extension with the JC Skyline

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Holland Tunnel Plaza

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Jersey Avenue Northbound

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County Road 681 in Hoboken

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CR 681 in Jersey City Heights

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~Corey
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #872
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One of my favorite sets of interchanges
USH 53, USH 12, WIS 93, and Hastings Way (former/ Business USH 53)
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Opened in 2006 (except Hastings Way)

image hosted on flickr

(courtesy of "MSPdude". link)


(Bing maps)

The interchanges are mostly part of the completed USH 53 bypass project in Eau Claire. This interchange complex has Wisconsin's first SPUI.
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Last edited by brewerfan386; June 4th, 2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #873
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Do you know why some road authorities don't like SPUI's? If there is an accident or road closure just at the interchange, you cannot detour traffic over the exit to the entrance, because you can't cross the intersecting road with a SPUI. You have to go left or right.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 11:26 AM   #874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
One of my favorite sets of interchanges
USH 53, USH 12, WIS 93, and Hastings Way (former/ Business USH 53)
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Opened in 2007 (except Hastings Way)

image hosted on flickr

(courtesy of "MSPdude". link)


(Bing maps)

The interchanges are mostly part of the completed USH 53 bypass project in Eau Claire. This interchange complex has Wisconsin's first SPUI.
IMHO, this interchange complex is waaaaaaay more complex and expensive than it should have been - WI 93 from the south should have fed directly northward into Hastings Way (old US 53) to the north with a conventional surface intersection at Clairemont Ave (US 12) and the new US 53 freeway should have had just a simple diamond interchange at Clairemont. It was designed just a couple of years before the roundabout thing hit WisDOT, so I will not criticize this one for not having any. The former trumpet crossover between WI 93 and US 53, along with the then no longer needed part of former US 53 between there and Clairemont, should have been abandoned and vacated.

Alternatively, the WI 93-Hastings Way surface street feed could have also followed around the east side of the former London Square Mall site if a direct north-south street routing would have proven to be unsuitable.

Mike
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:01 PM   #875
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Wow that's confusing. Can anyone tell me what the top two lines mean?
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:58 PM   #876
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I guess;

New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Prudential Center, an arena
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Old July 1st, 2010, 09:59 AM   #877
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Originally Posted by mgk920 View Post
IMHO, this interchange complex is waaaaaaay more complex and expensive than it should have been - WI 93 from the south should have fed directly northward into Hastings Way (old US 53) to the north with a conventional surface intersection at Clairemont Ave (US 12) and the new US 53 freeway should have had just a simple diamond interchange at Clairemont. It was designed just a couple of years before the roundabout thing hit WisDOT, so I will not criticize this one for not having any. The former trumpet crossover between WI 93 and US 53, along with the then no longer needed part of former US 53 between there and Clairemont, should have been abandoned and vacated.

Alternatively, the WI 93-Hastings Way surface street feed could have also followed around the east side of the former London Square Mall site if a direct north-south street routing would have proven to be unsuitable.

Mike
I disagree, even WisDOT said shortly before the bypass opened that they had wanted to put a free flowing interchange at USH 53 and 12 but couldn't due to extremely tight space constraints and some NIMBY'ism. A SPUI was the best compromise, IMHO, with more capacity then a diamond but less then a free flowing design. As far as WIS 93, it is the main, most direct and popular route down to the La Crosse area from Eau Claire. It only makes sense that the DOT would want to put a direct connection to then new freeway.
I grew up around the EC area and can personally say that old Hastings Way was a disaster zone traffic wise before the bypass and that the direct Highway 93 and BUS 53 connections where very necessary. IMHO
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Old July 1st, 2010, 01:19 PM   #878
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I guess;

New Jersey Performing Arts Center - Broadway.
Prudential Center, an arena -
NJPAC - My possible Future work place & where almost Broadway shows go after they leave.
Newark Arena - Home of the NJ Nets & Devils

You can blame the stupid NJDOT for once again not using symbols to mark the places...
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Old July 1st, 2010, 05:51 PM   #879
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Originally Posted by brewerfan386 View Post
I disagree, even WisDOT said shortly before the bypass opened that they had wanted to put a free flowing interchange at USH 53 and 12 but couldn't due to extremely tight space constraints and some NIMBY'ism. A SPUI was the best compromise, IMHO, with more capacity then a diamond but less then a free flowing design. As far as WIS 93, it is the main, most direct and popular route down to the La Crosse area from Eau Claire. It only makes sense that the DOT would want to put a direct connection to then new freeway.
I grew up around the EC area and can personally say that old Hastings Way was a disaster zone traffic wise before the bypass and that the direct Highway 93 and BUS 53 connections where very necessary. IMHO
I am very familiar with the rather unique problems that the Eau Claire area has WRT getting across town due to the lack of through corridors in the central city (those river valleys are among the most irregular in the USA!) and the need for the beltlines. It is similar to the situation found in the Madison area.

Still, that area is waaaay too complex. I am a very firm believer in the 'KISS' principal - Keep It Simple, Stupid!. The simpler and more straightforward, the better.

I know very well that Hastings Way was a hopeless traffic zoo before that bypass freeway was built, BUT, that freeway should have taken a significant amount of that traffic off of it, leaving it with more locally-based traffic levels (probably a bit more like Northland Ave and how it relates to US 41 here in the Appleton area) such that it should be downgradable a bit.

As for WI 93 - EVENTUALLY, I see WisDOT developing a much better connection in the La Crosse-Eau Claire corridor. In fact, I'm very, very surprised that they have not yet done so. The best option that I can envision would be to connect such a new corridor to I-94 with a new interchange in the Osseo area, running it southward generally along US 53 through those valleys to feed into the US 53 freeway just south of WI 54. The I-94/US 53 interchange in SE Eau Claire (the 'Oakwood interchange'?) should be re-engineered into a directional 'T' with full-speed free-flow ramps with present-day US 53 from I-94 to US 10 being downgraded to a county highway and being rerouted to feed into the US 53 frontage roads north of I-94. This would all lower the through traffic pressure on existing WI 93 in the south Eau Claire area.

Mike
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Old July 1st, 2010, 08:19 PM   #880
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That is what I like the most in US. I've seen a lot of so called "major tourist sites" on my previous trips. They are obviously exciting (especially national parks) but I always try to mix them with some wandering along middle of nowhere.
On this trip Black Hills and Badlands can be called highlights which many people even in Europe recognizes but Nebraska or even Mississippi Great River Road ar as interesting, if not more, but rather unknown.

I have ambition to visit all lower 48 states at some point. Still have some left but probably less than half
For some reason Kansas really sticks in my head. I don't know why. Name? Imagination? Stereotype of classic middle America? It might be my next visit
Blue Ridge Parkway - North Carolina and Virginia.
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