This report is from the last day of my 2004 summer vacation, on July 5, 2004.

Froggie's 2004 Summer Vacation, the Final Chapter:  Froggie's Last Leg

(no pun intended)

Spent the 4th of July weekend up in Liverpool, NY, basically laying low while Meaghan worked that weekend. Except for a trip down to Carousel Center, didn't really go anywhere until Monday morning, when I had to make my way back to Virginia.

- Headed south on I-81, as usual. Reconstruction on the northbound rest area north of Cortland looks to be close to complete. They should be on track for the August completion date.

- Rather than pay New York prices for gas, I (and apparently many others) tend to stop at Exit 230/PA 171 for gas. I continued to follow suit here, though instead of getting back on I-81, I opted to head south on US 11, in part to "clinch" US 11 between Syracuse and Scranton...the part I was missing was from New Milford to Clarks Summit.

- US 11 between PA 171 and the north end of New Milford is a 3-lane section...and a relatively old 3 lane section, where the center lane alternates between being a second northbound lane and being a left turn lane. Makes me wonder if it used to be a suicide lane in years past.

- Between New Milford and Nicholson, US 11 is a very scenic and pleasant drive...much of it follows the Martins Creek valley. Photographed a few PA ends along here for Adam Prince (as I'd picked up a couple of disposable cameras prior to leaving Syracuse) . There are also two rather tall concrete arch bridges that carry a railroad over the valley. One was south of PA 106, the other was over the east end of Nicholson.

- In Nicholson, US 6 is bridged over PA 92, with an access road connecting the two. To the south, between Nicholson and US 6, there's a short 4-lane segment on US 11. This segment ends before reaching US 6, though.

- US 11 has an odd interchange of sorts with US 6...hard to describe. Then the two routes are duplexed together down to Clarks Summit, starting as a 4-lane divided, but it narrows to 2 lanes near Glenburn, before widening back to 4 lanes within Clarks Summit itself. Got back on I-81 at Clarks Summit, via an infamous "triple trumpet".

- Stayed on I-81 down to Exit 175/PA 315...not much to note through here. The ramp from SB PA 315 to NB I-81 and I-476 starts off as a single ramp, then splits. On I-476, 3 lanes were open southbound at the mainline barrier (north end of the ticket system). All 3 lanes accepted EZPass, with one EZPass only lane and the other two being both EZPass and tickets.

- Traffic on I-476 South was its usual dead-until-I-80, then busy from there south to Philly. There were moderate delays in the cash lanes at the Mid-County tollbooth at the end of the NE Extension (looked like a 15-20 minute delay), but no delays getting to and through the EZPass lanes. Traffic was surprisingly lighter than normal on the Blue Route portion of I-476.

- Took the usual route...I-476 to I-95 to I-495 to US 13 to DE 1 South. South of Wilmington, there was a lot of northbound traffic along DE 1...probably twice as much traffic northbound as there was southbound. Given that Monday was a holiday for most folks, it didn't surprise me. The new high-speed EZPass lanes at Dover are NICE. Allowed me to bypass a 10-15 minute wait in the cash lanes.  Interestingly, the southbound delay at the Dover tollbooth was greater than it was northbound....probably because northbound had all four cash lanes open, while only two cash lanes were open southbound.

- Took DE 1 south to Milford, but rather than my usual US 113 route, stayed on DE 1 past Milford, to check out a couple of new DE route designations that Alex Nitzman mentioned: ALT DE 5 and ALT DE 30. Found another change in the process. The old DE 1/DE 30 intersection no longer exists. Instead, DE 1 traffic goes about 1/4 mile further south to use the intersection at Rd 206 (Wilkins Rd). Interestingly, this road is signed as SOUTH DE 30 from DE 1, rather than TO DE 30.

- As for the north end of DE 30, it has been realigned and serves as a south frontage road for DE 1, and connects directly to BUSINESS DE 1, while the ramps to/from the south on DE 1 now connect to this road. There is also an END DE 30 sign posted. Meanwhile, southbound, the ramp to SB DE 1, all of maybe 300 feet long, is singed as BUSINESS DE 1 in addition to TO DE 1 SOUTH. Found that interesting, as BUS DE 1 South only continues for the 300 foot ramp length at that point.

- On to ALT DE 30. No signage at the DE 1 intersection, but there are trailblazers at the DE 30 end, and a single reassurance shield. The designation follows Rd 207 (Johnson Rd). As best as I can tell, this route exists for trucks to get between DE 1 and DE 30.

- Took DE 30 south for a little ways, then cut back over to DE 1 and then south to DE 5 to Milton, where a new ALT DE 5 exists. From the north, ALT DE 5 begins at the DE 5/DE 16 intersection, follows DE 16 west to DE 30, then south on DE 30 to Rd 319 (Sand Hill Rd), and then back east to DE 5. This route is for trucks on DE 5 to bypass Milton...apparently, thru trucks are not allowed through town anymore. There is a fair amount of signage, although one trailblazer is missing on WB DE 16 at DE 30, and the NB trailblazer on DE 5 at Sand Hill Rd lists "ALTERNATE" on the banner instead of "ALT". Curiously, Rd 319/Sand Hill Rd is closed between DE 30 and DE 5 for reconstruction, which calls into question the usefulness of this route as a truck bypass. I'm guessing the truck restriction through Milton won't take effect until Sand Hill Rd reopens.

- At this point, I'd used up all the pictures in my camera, and so decided to head back home. Took secondary roads over to DE 30, and then south on DE 30 to Millsboro and US 113. Part of DE 24/30 through Millsboro, between the railroad and the Indian River, is split between a pair of one-way streets. Relating to recent threads about upgrading US 113 through or around Millsboro, there's enough ROW on US 113 through town to where I believe they could either elevate US 113 or put it below grade as a 4-lane freeway, with a pair of one-lane, one-way service roads on each side and access via slip ramps. Through many of the towns along US 113 south of Milford, US 113 has a nice wide ROW which would accommodate some sort of additional improvement.

- Nothing new of note for the rest of the trip home via US 113 and US 13.  Traffic on CBBT was busier than usual, but no significant delays. A lot of police presence on CBBT, though...usually see 2 cops patrolling...saw 4 on this trip across.

Finally, a reiteration of some trip numbers:

Total mileage (Syracuse-Syracuse): 6,078.6 miles

Total mileage (Virginia Beach-Virginia Beach): 7,130.5 miles.

Number of states visited: 20 (a few of them more than once)

Number of new states for Meaghan: 13

Counties Added for Froggie: 51 (bringing my total to 1547)

Counties Added for Meaghan: 230 (total now at 427...a correction from what I reported in my first trip report)

Cheapest Gas (87 octane): $1.679 in Lakeville, MN on 6/19 and near Kingston, TN on 6/30

Most Expensive Gas (87 octane): $2.069 in Liverpool, NY on 6/17

Number of photos taken: 1,775 (total from digital camera plus disposable camera photos after my digital broke)

That's it. Next roadtrip in a few weeks when I (hopefully) make it up to the Rochester meet.

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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig