This report is from Day 1 of my return trip to Norfolk from the Twin Cities, on May 4, 2003.

Storm Chasing Roadtrip (Day 1 of the return to Norfolk)

Just a quick note while I'm still awake enough to type. Day 1 of my return trip from the Twin Cities (MN) to Norfolk, VA came via a storm chase into western Missouri. I'm sure many of you have heard by now of the tornadoes that hit Kansas City. At one point, I was about 3-4 miles north of it, but didn't see it.

A few quick notes from the trip:

- Noticed that I-235 in Des Moines, IA was closed at 14th/15th Sts. Is this a weekend-only thing? Or full-time during construction?

- SPUI under construction on I-35 south of I-80.

- US 169 is being 5-laned through Smithville, MO.

- Rather than trying to drive INTO the K.C. tornado storm (as I almost did), I opted to watch it from US 169 at the I-435 interchange (a cloverleaf). Afterwards, used I-435 and MO 152 east to try and come behind the storm in Liberty (storm damage in Liberty prevented me from following through). Construction on MO 152 for about a mile or so west of I-35, and the traffic signal delays were extremely frustrating.

- MO 33 through Liberty and County "H" northeast of town were blocked off.

- Noticed a standard diamond at MO 291/MO 210. Left lane was closed southbound between the interchange and the Missouri River crossing.

- MO 210 for about 5-6 miles east of MO 291 is a 2-lane 60 MPH highway on a 4-lane ROW.

- MO 10 around Richmond is a Super-2 freeway with room for 4 lanes.

- While on a county road (I don't recall which one) southwest of Hardin, MO, I saw an interchange going up at the county road for a new 4-lane highway under construction. I'm guessing this will be a MO 13 reroute?

- The MO 13 Missouri River crossing not only IS old, but LOOKS it as well. Some nice (albeit rusted) superstructure on the bridge.

- Don't remember much about I-70, except for some construction in/near St. Louis and a few narrow sections through Columbia and a few points further east.

- The new I-70 Mississippi River crossing won't come a moment too soon. That connector ramp from EB I-70 onto the Poplar St Bridge is an absolute nightmare.

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