This report is from the trip north to Minnesota in mid-July, 2000, during my 2000 summer vacation.

Preliminary MS-MN trip report

Just a quick rundown of major points that I can remember. I took "notes" into my tape recorder on the way up, but my nerves are too frayed right now to dig deep. I'll give a more detailed report tomorrow, after I set my box up (brought the 'puter with...the 'rents have DSL, and spare slots on their hub).

Major points I can remember (some relate to other threads):

- Got some sign pics for Roaddog. I-55 MO, I-380 IA (two different styles), I-35 IA, and one of only two I-35 MN shields I found. Almost all I-35 shields in MN south of the Twin Cities have been replaced by new ones that don't have the state name.

- Also got pics of the north end of US 67 and the north end of US 218. Will be getting more US endings while home (both existing and historic).

- Got a map of the 20-year transportation plan for the Memphis area. Amongst other things, it shows the proposed routing of the Memphis Outer Beltway, as well as a new routing for a 4-lane (but not freeway) US 72 southeast of the Outer Beltway. Also, after talking with the main transportation planner, it is EXTREMELY LIKELY (not a full given, but close to it) that I-69 will go THROUGH Memphis instead of around. There's also been some talk about a third Mississippi River crossing, but any such crossing would be at least 20 years into the future before being built.

- At Cape Girardeau, the new river crossing has steel I-beams in place on the Illinois side (on the approach), but nothing yet on the Missouri side. They are still working on at least 2 of the piers as well.

- I think this has been mentioned before....anyway, the East-West Tollway is a freebie between I-39 and IL 251. Paid $0.95 at the toll booth east of I-39 (got on from IL 47), and $0.70 to get off at Dixon.

- The US 52 bridge across the Mississippi is EXTREMELY OLD.  Narrow too, and has that steel grated-type deck (can't remember the term).

- Most of the US 20 freeway around and east of Waterloo had paved shoulders. There was only a 10-15 mile (or so) stretch that didn't.

- Construction continues on bridging the gap in the US 20 freeway. Concrete for the main lanes has been laid at least as far west as Dike (as far west as I went).

- The Charles City bypass on US 218 is NOT open yet. Most of the pavement and even signs were in place, though. They were building what appears to be crossovers to the future southbound lanes. I'm guessing this is to shift traffic to those lanes while the connections between the bypass and the existing lanes are being built.

- From Charles City to just east of Rudd, traffic is on the new lanes while the existing lanes are rehabilitated.

- New section begins just east of Rudd, but the 4-lane doesn't begin until after one crosses the railroad bridge.

- There had been some uncertainty previously as to whether the US 18 Mason City bypass was controlled access or not. Anyway, it is indeed controlled access, between I-35 and the Nora Springs exit.  East of Nora Springs, it will be regular expressway. I have exit list data for either Matt Salek or Jason Hancock (whenever it's decided about who is going to do this list).

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