This report is from the return trip from Roselle Park, NJ to Norfolk, VA on January 2, 2002.

Final Holiday Roadtrip Report, NJ-VA (long)

Last report for my winter vacation...returning to Norfolk from Roselle Park, NJ...

- General route taken: GSP/NJ TPK/NJ 32/US 130/CR 522/US 1/I-95/PA 213/BUS US 1/PA 413/I-95/US 202/I-95/DE 1/DE 299/US 301/MD 213/US 50/MD 450/MD 435/MD 70/US 50/MD 665/MD 2/MD 408/MD 259/MD 4/MD 231/MD 5/MD 236/MD 234/US 301/VA 3/US 360/US 17/I-64

- Rather uneventful until I got close to Exit 8A on the NJ TPK. Then, all of a sudden, everything came to a complete stop (due to a rollover accident near Exit 7A), and in the process, I got crunched by an 18-wheeler. VERY fortunately for me, all it did was put a few dents in my rear bumper, rear left quarter panel, and took out my left taillight.

- Detoured on NJ 32, both to avoid the jam, locate a Toyota dealership (to get a new taillight), and to get a pic of the western end of NJ 32 (noticed that Chris Mason didn't have one yet). Missed a Mile 0 pic, but Mile 0 is posted at the end of the "ramp" from WB NJ 32 to NB US 130.

- (note for SPUI) CR 522 is now fully 4-lanes between US 130 and US 1, apparently just recently opened on the eastern end, as there was still some residual construction, plus lane signs at one intersection had yet to be replaced. Speed limit oscillated between 40 and 50, but was generally 50. Also for SPUI, CR 522 uses the "new" alignment between CR 681 and US 130, and has a short duplex with US 130. Saw no indication of CR 522 west of US 1.

- Some new interchange/overpass thing (couldn't tell for sure, but there's some "ramp" work going on) is going up on US 1 somewhere between Port Mercer and Penns not recall exactly where.

- Decided to go THROUGH Trenton, instead of around, while in search of a new left taillight. I see now why US 1 is called substandard...

- Did some backtracking through Langhorne and Oxford Valley, PA before locating a Toyota dealership at I-95/PA 413. The PA 213/PA 413/BUS US 1 intersection area (actually 3 intersections in close proximity) is a mess, especially with all the car dealerships in that area.

- I-95 from PA 413 south into Philly is noticeably smoother than I recall it being...

- Decided to take I-95 through, instead of I-495 around, Wilmington to see what the big deal was. In the process, took a detour up US 202 for a couple miles in search of gas and lunch (since the service signs on I-95 didn't indicate that the services were that far NORTH on US 202).

- Anytime DelDOT decides to put a flyover in for SB I-95 to SB DE 1, it'll be fine with me...

- What's the deal with Middletown and southern New Castle County, DE....why the hell can't they let DelDOT finish 4-laning US 301?  Traffic along there was nuts...

- Noticed that many intersections along US 301 between the DE line and US 50 have been turned into right-in/right-outs, or into a 6-movement intersection (barring through cross traffic and left turns onto US 301). In particular, at the US 301/MD 313 intersection, through traffic on MD 313 must turn right onto US 301, then travel about 1/4 mile down to use a "U-turn" to get back to the intersection.

- Was glad to see no stoplights along this stretch of US 301. Also noticed that MD SHA has added some Caution signs, saying "At-Grade Intersections Next XX Miles - Use Caution".  Disappointed that the speed limit was 55 MPH and not 65 MPH.

- Was suprised to see that at least a few rural 2-lane MD highways are signed 55 MPH (such as parts of MD 213, MD 231, and MD 234). Up until now, I thought all of them had a 50 MPH speed limit cap.

- Including the NJ 32 end pic for Chris Mason, I got some MD end pics for Brian Polidoro while I still had daylight, including MD 213, MD 404, MD 662, and (hopefully) MD 450. Also got a better vantage point of DE 261's southern end for Roaddog.

- Took a side detour through Annapolis to see the Naval Academy grounds. Will have to go back again when I have more time.

- Odd loop ramp from WB US 50 to SE(?)B MD 665. It's a righthand exit, but it's like a "U-turn" to the left.

- Some construction on MD 2 from MD 214 to a few miles north. South of MD 214, MD 2 has *A LOT* of traffic for a 2-lane highway, but fortunately no stoplights and plenty of left turn and bypass lanes at intersections.

- Traffic circle at MD 2/MD 408/MD 422 in Mt. Zion.

- MD needs to get some lighting up at the MD 4/MD 258 interchange. I almost missed the on-ramp to SB MD 4, and I wasn't alone in that either.

- Lots of evening rush hour traffic on SB MD 4 through Calvert County.

- Instead of separate reassurance shields, some locations on MD 2/4 use a single reassurance shield with "2-4" (much like the US 1-9 shields in NJ). Was too dark and too heavy of traffic to get a pic, though.

- MD 231 crosses the Patuxent River on a drawbridge

- Odd sight: saw an Amish buggy on MD 236 that had "flashing blinkers". While it was great from a visibility standpoint (saw them early enough to avoid running into them), all this time I had thought the Amish had disavowed "modern conveniences"...

- With a $3 toll, I would think that the authority running the Nice Bridge on US 301 over the Potomac would have PLENTY of money to pay off bonds for a parallel span. That existing span is a bit narrow for 2-way traffic.

- I think Mr. Kozel has mentioned this before, but the northern half of the VA 3 Warsaw bypass is open, connecting to the previously-existing VA 3/US 360 intersection on the east edge of town.  Disappointingly signed as 45 MPH, though.

- Did fairly good time on US 17 on the final run into the Hampton Roads area, and beat the snow into Norfolk by about 10 minutes.

Final trip tally: 15 days, about 4,150 miles, gallons upon gallons of gas, and 10 new counties to start 2002 off.

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