This was the first roadtrip report I posted to the misc.transport.road newsgroup, and details a trip from Meridian, MS to Pensacola, FL and back on October 13, 1998.

MS/AL/FL roadtrip

Had the opportunity to drive one of my fellow sailors from Meridian, MS to Pensacola, FL today. A few observations:

A) Interesting sight: A 10 mile section of US 45 between the Lauderdale/Clarke County line and Quitman, MS had "No Passing Zone", "Do Not Pass", and "Pass With Care" signs posted delineating the passing zones. I've never seen this before in Mississippi.

B) Work continues on 4-laning US 45 in Clarke and Wayne Counties of MS, including what will appear to be a cloverleaf interchange with the "under-construction" US 84 bypass of Waynesboro, MS.

C) Mileposts on US 45 in Alabama going north from Mobile follow the mileage of the old AL 17 route, which is duplexed with US 45 and is even signed as such in Washington County. After AL 17 branches off near  Deer Park, AL, US 45 mileposts start over at 0.

D) I-65 in Mobile, AL has 3 continuous lanes each direction from I-10 north to about a mile past Exit 10, as well as VERY NICE shoulders and lighting. It's posted 65 MPH the entire length through Mobile.

E) The I-165 spur in Mobile has 3 lanes each direction. Also, although it ends on the north end of downtown, there is a very nice connector loop from its end, passing around downtown and connecting to downtown streets, and ending at I-10. This loop is marked as Water St. and has 6 lanes. It's vaguely similar to the Martin Luther King Jr Blvd around the CBD in Baltimore, MD, except that Water St. has interstate connections at BOTH ends. Speed limit on I-165 is 55 MPH, and 35 MPH on Water St.

F) I-10 in Mobile has 4 continuous lanes each direction from I-65 east to the Water St. exit downtown, where it pares down to 2 lanes each direction and immediately goes into an approx. 1 mile long tunnel under the main navigation channel of the Mobile River. The tunnel has no shoulders and is posted 40 MPH, but has wide lanes and changing lanes is allowed. Hazardous cargo is required to bypass around the tunnel by using an ALT US 90/98 a few miles north.

G) After leaving the tunnel, I-10 goes onto an elevated bridge for the remainder of its trip across Mobile Bay. Both the elevated bridge and I-10's trip through Mobile are posted 65 MPH.

H) The interstate signage for Exit 53 on I-10 in Alabama includes the county route number, in this case County Road 64, using the blue pentagon sign. This is the first time I've seen this occur in Alabama.

I) I-110 in Pensacola, FL is 4 lanes, elevated for about the southern third, and is very busy.

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