This report is from a 4-day roadtrip across the southeastern US over Fourth-of-July weekend in 1999.

Road Trip MS-AR-MS-TN-KY-TN-GA-AL-MS (long)

Had a 4 day weekend this weekend and nothing much to do, so I decided to hop out and about. Now, 3 days, 2,089 miles, and numerous observations later, I've made it back in front of my computer to comment.

If anyone wants to plot it, a "rough" routing I took was MS 19/MS 14/MS 16/MS 1/US 82/US 61/I-40/TN 22/TN 78/KY 94/US 641/I-40/I-24/I-59/AL 40/US 72/I-65/I-20/59.


Got pics of the ends of various US highways: 72 (both), 76, 78, 127, 641.

Cheapest gas was $0.889 on US 27 on the Georgia side of the TN/GA line. Most expensive was $1.139 somewhere along TN 22 (don't remember where).

"Fun" drives (if you have a sports car or good cornering) include KY 121/TN 119, TN 49 between Dover and Erin, TN 129 between US 231 and Lynchburg, and TN 148 around Lookout Mtn.

I have exit list info for TN 22 and the non-Interstate freeways in Memphis and Chattanooga. Billy Riddle gets first crack (if he's going to do TN exit lists at all), otherwise I may just tie them into my own exit lists (unless someone else is interested).

Still no US 278 signage in Mississippi, though it's signed with US 82 on the Arkansas side.

The US 82 bridge over the Mississippi is rather narrow and rather long. The proposed replacement, if built, will sit about a half-mile south. I could easily see where the AR side tie-in would be (US 82 turns south slightly upon entering AR), but the MS side isn't quite so apparent.  Also, I couldn't really tell where the proposed Greenville bypass will tie into it either.

Got a couple pics of the "Crossroads", which in a couple years will be "moving", once the south end of the Clarksdale bypass is completed.

TN 300 is signed from I-40 as US 51, even though US 51 actually doesn't go on it. Both of the TN 300/US 51 and TN 385/US 51 interchanges have ghost ramps and grades for possible westward expansions.

The Nonconnaugh Parkway is currently complete out to Bailey Station Rd (roughly 10.5 miles out from I-240). The first 4 miles are 6-lanes. Believe it or not, one interchange is *NOT* a SPUI (the first one, at Ridgeway Rd).

The TN 385/I-40 interchange is still under construction.  Currently, TN 385 ends at US 70, and traffic must use TN 205 to access I-40.

Only 2 sections of TN 22 between I-40 and Union City that are still 2-lanes, the Dresden bypass and around Huntingdon.

Apologies to Mr. Elkins, but Kentucky has *THE WORST* rural roads I have ever seen. They make Mississippi's county roads look good. And I can't understand how Rand McNally and National Geographic can rate KY 94 a red line when the road is BARELY 20 feet wide!

The US 70 and US 79 bridges over the Tennessee River are both 4-lanes.

US 79 was rather busy between TN 119 and Dover.  TDOT hasn't quite 4-laned this stretch, but they have provided a very nice 2-lane highway with wide paved shoulders and truck climbing lanes that are long enough to serve as passing lanes (this stretch of US 79 goes up and down a lot of long grades). One could consider it a Super-2. US 641 between US 70 and I-40 could likewise be considered Super-2.

Earth-moving has started at the proposed I-40/I-840 interchange near Dickson.

Having I-24 and I-440 separated is MUCH NICER than the old configuration through the I-24/I-40/I-440 mess.

Widening of I-24 continues heading out to TN 840 (future I-840). This project looks to be at least a year more before completion.

The Monteagle grade on I-24 is drive. Even more interesting is driving the grade WEST of Monteagle, heading up to US 64 (lots of twists and turns).

US 27 is Interstate-grade from US 127 north to TN 111.  IMHO, upgrading US 27 between I-24 and US 127 *IS* remotely possible, but would be very expensive and would either require a new Tennessee River bridge or MAJOR rehab of the existing bridge.

The exit numbers still remain on US 27 in downtown Chattanooga. Better yet, an I-124 sign STILL EXISTS, southbound just after crossing the river. I hope my pic turns out.

Major road work on I-75 on the east side of Chattanooga, including a full reconstruction of the I-75/TN 153 interchange.

TN 153 may be a freeway, but it isn't anywhere near Interstate-grade. Upgrading it though would be easier than upgrading US 27.

Supposedly, one can see parts of 6 states from the top of Lookout Mountain, including Virginia. It was very hazy when I went up there, so I was lucky if I could even see North Carolina.

Like TN 153, AL 255 is a freeway, but isn't quite Interstate-grade.

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