This report is from Day 2 of my 2004 summer vacation, on June 17, 2006.
Day 2: The Adventure Begins (NY-OH)
After a brief stop at Bruegger's for breakfast and the News10Now building, we
were on our way. Our main goals for the trip were to see the country and collect
counties, and so we didn't really take any direct routes for almost the entire
- From the News10Now building (on Erie Blvd), we headed west through downtown Syracuse, and picked up I-690 West from West St. Relating to an earlier thread about hidden/secret exits, there's an exit from West St to Herald Pl which leaves from the ramp to EB I-690.
- Took I-690 West out to I-90 and the Thruway, and continued west on the Thruway to Exit 41 and NY 414, which we took south to US 20/NY 5. NY 414 had a lot of trucks on it, with the reason being some sort of gravel or mining operation along the route about halfway down to US 20.
- Took US 20/NY 5 west through Waterloo and out to Geneva, where we picked up NY 14. Saw how the old partial interchange at NY 96A has been replaced by a T-intersection (where would this route have continued to?). At NY 14, the access roads aren't exactly local streets per-se (they're direct from each side of US 20 to NY 14), but both of them did have private driveways on them.
- Took NY 14 south to Watkins Glen. NY 14 is a scenic drive along the west side of Seneca Lake, with many views of the lake and passing by quite a few vineyards. The roadway briefly goes to 4 lanes divided, starting at the merge from NY 14A, and continuing down the hill to the north edge of Watkins Glen, where it goes back to 2 lanes.
- Took NY 414 from Watkins Glen down to Corning, both to nip Chemung County (for Meaghan) and to angle ourselves better for heading west. Fairly busy road, and there were limited passing opportunities on the south end. A bridge over a Norfolk Southern RR line, just northeast of the Chemung/Steuben County line, is being replaced, with the new span being built just east of the existing bridge.
- Once in Corning we picked up I-86/NY 17 and headed west. Construction is underway on the new interchange with US 15 South...one lane was closed on each side of I-86/NY 17, and the cops were out enforcing the speed limit in this construction area.
- After a brief gas stop in Bath, we continued west, and took I-86/NY 17/PA 17 all the way out to I-90. Many segments were in rough shape, and getting caught in a rainstorm didn't help. Somewhere east of Olean, there was a construction zone that narrowed things to one lane. Also saw the casino in Salamanca, and also noted four crossings of the Allegheny River, three of which were in Seneca Nation territory, with signs showing the Seneca name for the river...basically pronounced the same as Ohio.
- Caught up with I-90, and took that west through Erie and into Ohio. Only 2 lanes each way, but pavement was in pretty good shape east of I-79...somewhat less so to the west. Noted that the I-90/I-79 interchange is a simple cloverleaf. Further west, ODOT had a resurfacing project starting at the state line, but both lanes were open when we went through. We bailed off of I-90 at OH 11 to head south. The I-90/OH 11 interchange is a cloverleaf with C/D roads on both sides of I-90.
- Took OH 11 south, eventually down to its end. Fairly nondescript north of Youngstown, though there's a directional ramp at the interchange with OH 82. Though I didn't need to follow this path, a freeway connection from OH 11 to I-680 looks like it would be more useful than the unfinished/cancelled/indirect route that exists.
- Stayed on OH 11 down to its end. The southernmost mileage into East Liverpool, OH is a 3-way multiplex between US 30, OH 7, and OH 11, and slows down to 50 MPH as one descends the hill into the Ohio River valley. The ramp to continue on OH 7 South is a bit of a pain, with a stop sign (IIRC) and a non-existent merge. OH 7 is effectively a 4-lane undivided street for a stretch before it opens up into 55 MPH divided highway.
- Took OH 7 south to Steubenville. So-so pavement in some segments, but nice route. Noted stretches that are expressway rather than freeway...some look like they could be upgraded to freeway with money for ROW acquisition. Others would be difficult to upgrade. South of OH 213 there's a part of OH 7 that goes right underneath a coal power plant. Found that interesting. Freeway segment picks back up at OH 152. Some indications from OH 7 that there used to be a river crossing somewhere near OH 152, but no longer exists.
- One traffic signal at OH 213 North, just before the merge onto US 22 East. The short US 22/OH 7 duplex is 6 lane freeway with some impressive retaining wall work on the cliff-side. At one point, one can see all three bridges across the Ohio lined right up: the old road suspension bridge, the newer freeway cable-stayed bridge, and then a cantivillier (sp?) truss railroad bridge. SB OH 7 exits to the left, along with an exit to the old bridge, while US 22 hugs the cliff face before making a sharp 35 MPH curve (with an exit to University Blvd) onto the newer bridge.
- Took the WV 2 North interchange and went north into Weirton briefly...enough to clinch Hancock County, before returning back to US 22 and west. Traffic cones were lined up at the ready for some sort of work on the westbound side of the river bridge, though no work was going on when we went through. Took US 22 west and up the cliff to the OH 43 exit, where we continued onto a series of narrow, twisty Ohio roads through parts of Jefferson, Harrison, and Carroll Counties. In order, we followed OH 646 (which has brief duplexes with both OH 9 and OH 151), then OH 151, OH 332, OH 164, and OH 212 back to OH 151. A segment of OH 151 near Conotton is closed for reconstruction, which prompted the OH 332/164/212 detour. Took OH 151 to US 250, which at least wasn't as curvy or narrow.
- US 250 makes two turns onto itself on the Uhrichsville bypass, first at the beginning of the bypass, and then again at the interchange where US 36 begins. Discovered almost after-the-fact that US 36 begins here, as a result my photo only came out so-so. US 36 drops back to 2 lanes near the Tuscarawas River (which we noticed was running very high due to recent rains), and in a way where one might think US 36 was going to continue and cross the river.
- US 36 stays 2 lanes until you're almost to I-77. US 36 has a neat steel overhead truss river bridge along here, as well as a county road overpass with an access road connection (near Gnadenhutten, IIRC).
- At I-77, US 36 widens to 4 lanes, and stays that way until Coshocton. Noted that the speed limit along most of this 4-lane section was 60 MPH. OH 83 briefly joins in Coshocton for about 1/4 mile or so, then where US 36 turns off of the 4-lane is where OH 16 begins. We turned onto US 36 here.
- Our original plan was to leave US 36 at OH 715, then connect to OH 206 up to US 62 and Holmes County. Unfortunately, this wouldn't come to be, as both OH 715 and OH 206 were closed due to flooding. In retrospect, this made some sense given the large amount of rain the area had just received, plus the dam and low-lying areas that OH 715 traverses near. As a result, we stayed on US 36 until Millwood, where we picked up US 62 up to Danville. In Millwood, US 36 crosses over US 62, and a local street is used as an access road between the two routes.
- Was on US 62 up to Danville, where we continued onto OH 514, which also falls under the "narrow, twisty category". Once into Holmes County, we found a county road (CR 12, IIRC) which we took up to OH 39/60. Perhaps all the better, as the whole time in Holmes County we were skirting the edge of a severe thunderstorm. Between that and the roadway condition (narrow, poor conditioned bituminous), we wanted to get back to a decent roadway.
- Took OH 39/60 into Loudonville, and continued on OH 60 north to Hayesville. The OH 60/95 intersection in McKay is at a very nasty angle. OH 95 northeast of here was also detoured onto OH 60.
- Just past Hayesville, we got onto US 30 at its interchange with OH 60, and was finally back on decent 60 MPH road. US 30 is high-quality expressway until right at about I-71, then it becomes freeway as it bypasses Mansfield. There was construction going on at one of the interchanges in Mansfield (at OH 13 I think), dealing with a bridge replacement along US 30.
- Construction was very noticeable on the future freeway segment between Ontario and Bucyrus, which was good since the existing 2-lane US 30 has heavy traffic, including a lot of trucks. The Bucyrus bypass was open, but contrary to the 2004 American Map atlas, the segment between Bucyrus and US 23 isn't finished yet, to my disappointment. As a result, we took a US 30/OH 231/OH 294 routing to get around it.
- While I was lucky and didn't have a problem crossing, I could see where an interchange might be warranted at US 23/OH 294. Further on down, and with it being past sunset, we took OH 67 southwest in an effort to nab a few more counties before we stopped for the night. Picked up Marion County (via a county road SW of Marseilles), and Hardin, Logan, Shelby, and Auglaize Counties via this routing: OH 309/US 68 (which had some repaving going on)/OH 274/I-75, and stopped at Exit 111 off of I-75 in Wapakoneta.
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