This report is from the first two days of my 1999 summer vacation, on August 16-17, 1999.

The Trip Home (part 1)

Haven't quite gotten all the way yet. I'm typing this from the West Des Moines public library...:o)

So far, my route from Meridian has pretty much been I-20 (MS/LA), US 65/LA roads (LA), US 165 (LA/AR), US 65/I-30/I-40/I-540 (AR), US 71 (AR/MO), I-44 (MO), US 166/400 (MO/KS), ALT US 69/US 69/I-35 (KS), I-635 (KS/MO), I-29 (MO), I-35 (MO/IA). Notes:

The western end of the I-20 Mississippi River bridge is about a 1.5 mile viaduct over the low marshland leading to the river.

US 65 is a major route between I-20 and Pine Bluff. It has paved shoulders, but not very many bypasses. It has A LOT of traffic for a 2-lane highway, including A LOT of heavy truck traffic. Arkansas has provided for this somewhat with the wide shoulders, and a few passing lanes here and there, but this corridor really could use a major upgrading. A continuation of I-530 from Pine Bluff down to future I-69, with 4-lanes continuing down to I-20, is well justified based on my trip along it. Currently, the 4 lane section ends just east of Moscow, although US 65 has 4 lanes through Tallulah and Lake Providence, LA, and a 5-lane section is under construction through McGehee.

The Pine Bluff, AR bypass is complete and open to traffic.  There are also I-530 signs up along it, although I only saw two other I-530 signs going up to Little Rock.

Arkansas is in the early stages of 6-laning I-40 between I-430 and Exit 135.

I-540 is nice. It is also signed up to the north end of the Fayetteville bypass (Exit 68, IIRC). Another interesting thing is that US 71 continues I-540's exit numbering convention all the way up to Buena Vista. The last exit on the extreme southern end of US 71 is Exit 93.

US 71 thorugh Buena Vista is weird in that a golf course parallels the road for some 2+ miles, first on one side, then on the other.

US 69 through Kansas south of Kansas City is nice. It slows down for a few towns, but otherwise has nice wide paved shoulders, a 65 MPH speed limit, and a couple sections that are lim-access Super-2s.

The I-635 bridge over the Missouri River is 4 lanes, 2 each direction.

I noticed a rather apparent paucity of lanes on many Kansas City freeways. KCers, are there any major widenings planned in the future? Especially US 69, I-29, and the Missouri side of I-35.

(For Robert Droz)...a Spur US 69 exists in Missouri...IIRC, it was in Bethany. I'll double check once I get a map in front of me. There are also a lot of Business US 69s in Kansas.

Bad pavement awards: I-20 in Louisiana, I-40 west of Little Rock, I-29 in KC, I-35 between KC and Des Moines.

Back to the Roadtrip Report Archive
Back to Magnolia Meanderings

(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig