This report is from a return trip to Norfolk, VA from northern New Jersey on February 18, 2002.

Late return trip notes and a local gold mine (long)

Instead of coming straight back to VA Beach on Monday, I took a little side detour through the Philly area and parts of Delaware that I haven't been to yet. A few notes:

- Got a good pic of the odd "US 28" (sic NJ 28) shield at the Cranford Circle. As a bonus, the directional tab and arrow are in county route colors.

- Woodhaven Rd portion of PA 63 is in dismal shape...many half-filled potholes, and the concrete joints are heaving. Certainly shows its age. Also, some ghost ramps noted westbound near one of the middle interchanges, and both directions narrow to 2 lanes at some point north of US 13. In addition, going from the EB on-ramp from US 13 to the ramp to NB I-95 is an IMPOSSIBLE weave...(about 400 feet to cross 2 lanes).

- Noted an END PA 132 shield cosigned with a JCT I-95 oversized shield.

- Picture a standard, black-and-white PA "keystone" route shield, with "PENNA TURNPIKE" instead of a number in the shield. Such was noted at the end of the I-95/PA 413 connector.

- PennDOT is widening PA 413 from US 13 to north of the I-95 connector.  All traffic is in the future NB lanes...SB lanes were being built in concrete. At the south end of the construction zone are "PA 13" trailblazers.

- Went on both the Burlington-Bristol and Tacony-Palmyra bridges. Both are steel-overhead-truss/horizontal-lift bridges with metal grate decks, not to mention a bit narrow (BB is 2 lanes, TP is 3...1 EB/2 WB). Noticed that toll is collected crossing westbound (into PA). Toll at Tacony-Palmyra is $2...a bit steep IMHO. Given the bridge condition, the Betsy Ross just downstream, and tolls at some of the upstream bridges, I was expecting more along the lines of $1 to $1.50.

- Route signage at both bridges was extremely sparse (to the point where PA 73's first turn is unmarked...and I wound up on Levick St in the process). Only found a NJ 413 reassurance shield at the east end of the Burlington-Bristol. I DID snap pics of both bridges....since the state line crosses both bridges, hopefully this will suffice as end pics for PA/NJ 413 and PA/NJ 73. Also got NJ 413's end at US 130.

- Took Roosevelt Blvd/US 1/US 13 from Levick St west. Plenty of ROW from Levick St west to PA 611 to accommodate the occasionally-discussed Roosevelt Expressway extension....and if Roosevelt Blvd between Levick and Woodhaven is similar, you could possibly build a freeway all the way up to the PA TPK with minimal ROW acquisition.

- Took I-76 from US 1 down to PA 611....particularly saw why some call it the "Sure-Kill Expressway". Related to a previous thread, the EB off-ramp at Exit 349 (PA 611) is signed for 10 MPH.

- Noted an END PA 611 shield at the I-95 bridges.

- Took some of the side roads east of DE 1 (DE 6, DE 9, DE 36), partially to see the view, and partially to fill in some gaps in Roaddog's DE ends coverage. Some nice scenery (especially near the east end of DE 6), but 50 MPH seems a bit slow for many sections...55 MPH would be more appropriate, not counting the bicycle traffic.

- DE apparently doesn't like END the point where it was almost impossible to locate the east end of DE 36.

- First stoplight on DE 1 south of Dover isn't until the DE 1/DE 16 intersection.

- Found an oddly signed route...DE 1D.  Apparently has endpoints at the DE 1/US 9/DE 23/DE 404 and DE 1/DE 24 intersections.

- Sections of DE 1 between Five Points and Rehoboth Beach have shoulders that are authorized for bus use...some signs also list park-and-ride lots for "Resort Transit".

- A controlled-access bypass of the commercial mess along DE 1 between Five Points and Dewey Beach would be nice, but would be difficult to tie in at the south end due to Rehoboth Bay.

- Found an END DE 24 shield....and about 50 feet past it, an END DE 1D shield.

- DE 26 from Bethany Beach to Clarksville is slowpoke-city....I can only imagine how bad it must be during the tourist season.

- DE 17/DE 20 in Roxana is signalized. By contrast, DE 6/DE 9 is a 4-way stop, while DE 8/DE 9 is a 3-legged "Y".

- Contrary to many maps, US 113 is 4-lane divided from US 50 up to MD 90 (which is an interesting partial-cloverleaf interchange...though it didn't seem like it was built to accommodate an eventual 4-lane section on MD 90). A project is underway to extend this 4-lane divided section north to just south of MD 367, including an easterly bypass of Showell, and what looks like a diamond interchange at MD 589 (US 113 will definitely have an overpass over MD 589).

- Any time that Maryland would like to 4-lane US 113 from Berlin south to the existing 4-lane south of Snow Hill, it will be fine by me.

- PA route end pics taken include 63*, 132*, 232, 513, and 611. DE route end pics taken include BUSINESS 1, 1D*, 5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 26, 30, 36 (I think), 42, 71*, 300, and 404. Once I have time, pics will be scanned in and sent to the respective highway end page webmasters. No MD pics...was after sunset by the time I got to Selbyville, DE.

* - multiple vantage points

Now for the "local gold mine": by happenstance, I stopped off at the library at Old Dominion University. What I found was a wealth of old VDOT planning documents and other transportation books, including VDOT's "2010 Statewide Highway Plan" (dated from the late '80s), and two 60's-era books that showed plans for some never-built freeways here in the Hampton Roads. Will definitely have to locate some time to head back for research. Am also taking up a donation fund for photocopy expenses...:o)

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