This report is from another weekend trip from Virginia Beach, VA to Syracuse, NY, in mid-February, 2004.

US 13 Eastern Shore and Syracuse, NY notes

Drove up to Liverpool, NY to spend the weekend up here with my "other half".  While on the way up, I noticed that VDOT has recently (i.e. within the last 2 weeks) added milemarkers to US 13 along the Virginia Eastern Shore, between the CBBT and Oak Hall. The milemarkers conform to US 13's mileage in Virginia, down to the NC line (though it's unclear if they include the rerouting onto the SW Suffolk Bypass), with the first ones being in the low 70s (first picture I snagged was MM 72). Milemarkers on the CBBT itself remain unchanged, and reflect CBBT mileage rather than US 13 mileage.

Adding milemarkers was one of the recommendations from the US 13/Wallops Island Access Management Study, which is on the VDOT website here:

In other news, construction of the high-speed EZPass lanes at Dover on DE 1 continues....concrete has been poured, but there's still a ways to go. Signs on each end of the construction point to a May, 2004 completion.

Found out the hard way that PTC does not accept EZPass in all lanes....found this out while exiting I-476 at Exit 105 (and picking the wrong lane in the process)...

For Alex Nitzman: there are still a fair number of I-81 NY shields in the Syracuse area here. I've also seen quite a few I-81 shields that look like they used to have the state name, but no longer do...particularly on Erie Blvd in downtown Syracuse.

This weekend marks the first weekend I've perused the libraries of the area....since Meaghan (my other half) works the weekends, I've had a bit of free-time during the day. Yesterday, I checked out the Baldwinsville Public Library, which had copies of 3 environmental documents for area projects, I-690 at the Thruway, the NY 31 "Belgium Bridge", and a Baldwinsville Bypass.

The I-690 EIS from 1981 was for what eventually became today's I-690 interchanges at John Glenn Blvd, NY 48, and I-90/Thruway. Amongst the 4 alternatives listed, 3 of them would have kept the Thruway's Exit 39 at its original location.

The NY 31 "Belgium Bridge" documentation, from 2000, is for the current project to replace the NY 31 "Belgium Bridge" over the Seneca River/Erie Canal, between Lysander and Clay, in northern Onondaga County. The current 2-lane through truss bridge (built in 1950) is being replaced by a 5-lane concrete girder bridge, more or less in the same location, with the extra width going to the south. In addition to the bridge replacement, the proposal calls for extending the 5-lane section on NY 31 from CR 57 (old NY 57) west, across the bridge, and to NY 631 South. Right turn lanes will be included at some intersections, and a left-turn lane from both directions will be added to River Rd at NY 31 (west side of the river). The chosen alternative is the "Green Alternative" from the environmental documention. The "Blue Alternative" differed in that it would build an additional span to the north of the existing span for westbound traffic, keep the existing span for eastbound traffic, and would've required roughly 30% more ROW acquisitions.

Also, according to the environmental docs, the old bridge will be dismantled and reassembled at the CR 32/Plainville Road canal crossing west of Baldwinsville.

The Baldwinsville Bypass document, from 1998, is for a proposed and partially-built bypass of Baldwinsville, from NY 31 east of the village to NY 48 south of the village, including a new Seneca River crossing. Of four alternatives ultimately studied, the "Red Alternative" is the preferred alternative. The construction of NY 631 between NY 31 and NY 370 is the result of this bypass proposal, though I'm not sure what the status is of finishing the bypass.

As a bonus, the Baldwinsville Bypass document included a map from a 1979 EIS showing alternatives for improving NY 31 to a freeway between NY 690 and NY 481.

The Baldwinsville library wasn't the only one I got to this weekend. I also went to the Onondaga County central library in downtown Syracuse, where I found two items: the EIS for a relocated NY 290, between the I-481/I-690 "Butternut Interchange" and NY 257; and a mid 1970s planning map showing "Major Highway Development in the Central New York Region", including extending the NY 5 expressway in some form from NY 695 to S. Geddes St west of downtown Syracuse, improvements to NY 298 from the Carrier Circle to Bridgeport, and constructing a part of John Glenn Blvd from NY 481 to Morgan Rd. The map also referred to NY 481 as NY 57, and referred to I-481 as I-281.

At the Syracuse University libary, I found a map of the proposed Vieux Carre Expressway in New Orleans (my photo didn't turn out too well, though), a 1968 map for "Proposed Circulation for the Boston Regional Core" (including parts of the cancelled Inner Belt and Southwest Expressway), the "1990 Expressway System in the Boston Region", the 1972 Long Range Expressway Plan for Connecticut, and a real gem: a map of the 1961 General Land Use Plan for Arlington County, VA, including proposed location and interchanges for the cancelled Four Mile Run Parkway, Fairfax Dr/Bluemont Dr (precursor to today's I-66), and what looks like a limited-access parkway upgrade to US 50/Arlington Blvd, amongst other proposals.

Meanwhile, in northeastern Syracuse is an interesting traffic circle, called the "Carrier Circle", where NY 298, NY 635, Thompson Rd, and Exit 35 off the Thruway intermingle. The circle has 2 lanes, with traffic in the circle having right-of-way, but interestingly all five "exits" from the circle have exit numbers, with Thompson Rd North being "Exit 1", and going counter-clockwise to the I-90/NY Thruway exit being "Exit 5".

Further west along NY 298 (which is a 55 MPH 4-lane divided highway for about a mile, serving industrial development) is another traffic circle serving the NY 298/TRUCK NY 298 intersection. After this, NY 298 drops to a 40 MPH arterial, then a 30 MPH city street while entering the Syracuse city limits.

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