This is part two of an extended weekend roadtrip in the middle of August, 2004.

Weekend roadtrip reports, part 2 (long)

Took advantage of a 4-day weekend opportunity to head north to spend some time with the "other half", as well as attend the recent Rochester meet.  These are the last two trip reports, for the Rochester meet and the trip back to Virginia.

Trip 4 (8/7): Rochester Meet

Met up with Chris Jordan at Carousel Center for the trip over to the Rochester Meet.

- Started with a trip up NY 370 and Old Route 57, now signed as CR 57 (but apparently is really CR 91 according to Chris), in order to check out status of the Belgium Bridge construction on NY 31. Since my last time up there, the old bridge has been taken out and construction on the remainder of the new bridge.  Traffic is currently using the 2 lanes of the new bridge that were initially built.

- Another side trip up and around NY 631 (clinching that route) brought us around to the only part of NY 690 I hadn't been on yet: that between NY 48/631 and NY 31/370. Headed west on NY 370 after clinching NY 690.

- NY 370 has a 50 MPH zone for a couple miles west of NY 690, before it opens up to 55 MPH. An occasional small town between there and Old Route 104 (now listed as CR 163 on my DeLore), which we turn onto and headed west to NY 104 on.

- Took NY 104 around Wolcott, then hopped on county roads up to what used to be US 104 many years ago, which travels on an old bridge across Sodus Bay. At NY 14, we headed north, taking it all the way to the loop where NY 14 "ends".  Sodus Bay is an interesting little town with a lot of small homes and stores as well as a Coast Guard station.

- From Sodus Bay, we took "Lake Rd", which is part of the Seaway Trail, west...effectively all the way to Irondequoit Bay. A lot of lake homes and fields along here, plus one large plant and a confusing turn in Pultneyville.  West of NY 250, there were reference markers showing the route as NY 18, even though NY 18 was truncated in 1980 and the segment in question, according to Mark, is maintained by NYSDOT as reference route 941L.

- A trip down Bay Rd (40 MPH 4 lane undivided) then across on the NY 104 freeway-come-arterial brought us to the meet, where we were the first ones there.

- Chris and I attended the O'Rorke Bridge (being late due to a misunderstanding) and Irondequoit Bay parts of the tour, before time constraints forced me to head back to Liverpool (and Chris with me since I was his ride). Before leaving town, we flipped Doug the bird on NY 590, passed through the Can of Worms, took a spin around on the inner Inner Loop, and took the ramp from the Inner Loop to what would have been I-590 had it not been cancelled and shifted elsewhere.

- East on I-490 then briefly on I-90 before we bailed for other roads at NY 332, following a NY 332/NY 96/NY 14/NY 318/NY 414 routing through small towns and a fair number of NY road junctions. Hopped back on the Thruway at Exit 41/NY 414, but got back off at Exit 40/NY 34 and took NY 31 east. Got a photo of Chris at the Village of Jordan sign, continued east on NY 31, then turned onto NY 173, which is a rather slow-going route. Chris mentioned that it looks like it's county-maintained and simply state-designated, except for one newer bridge that was clearly NYSDOT vintage.

- Bailed onto NY 5, then NY 695, then I-690 and back to Carousel Center.

Trip 5 (8/8): NY to VA

As usual, I left Liverpool about the same time Meaghan had to leave for work.

- Headed south on I-81 as I normally do, noting the construction that has closed WB I-690 at the I-81 interchange for bridge deck work. The rest area NB north of Cortland looks like it's close to reopening.

- Bailed off of I-81 early, at Whitney Point, in order to get some breakfast and try out a different route. Took NY 26 south for a ways, then followed along Broome County roads to come out at the NY 17/NY 201 interchange. Took a run down and back on NY 201 to check out construction at the traffic circle in Johnson City. Work has begun within the circle itself, and on the bridge on NY 201 over the Susquehanna. Once this project (which adds flyovers for NY 201 through traffic), NY 201 will in effect be a 45 MPH freeway between NY 434 and NY 17.

- Back up to NY 17, then east and south on I-81. PennDOT had a series of both permanent and portable VMSes that were advertising I-476 as an express route to bypass congestion on SB I-81 through and around Scranton. As with my trip up, I paid the two $0.50 tolls to bypass this busy stretch of I-81 and follow a 65 MPH speed limit. Very little traffic overall was following suit...apparently, most were either taking different routes or were content with staying on I-81.

- There were also portable VMS at the PA 315 exit off of I-476 showing it as the end of the "toll road express".

- Left I-476 at US 209, and followed US 209 and PA 248 to Bowmanstown, in order to take PA 895 along the north base of Blue Mountain (and also clinch PA 895).  Scenic route that also goes through a couple of small towns, though a bit busy west of PA 309.

- Took PA 895 west to PA 61, then south on PA 61. The interchange at I-78 is being converted from a cloverleaf to a 6-ramp par-clo, with the NE and SE loops being closed and replaced by extended ramps and traffic signals. The NE loop has already been closed, and the traffic signal/ramp extension replacing the SE loop looks to be ready to go.

- PA 61 is a 4-lane combination divided/undivided route between I-78 and US 222.  Most major intersection have turn lanes, though at one location between PA 73 and US 222, PennDOT went on the cheap and dropped the southbound left lane, using that space to stripe a left turn lane, rather than build a lane outright.

- Hopped on US 222 south enroute to PA 12. Found out the hard way that, from SB US 222, one must exit onto WB US 422/Future SB 222, then exit onto Paper Mill Rd in order to turn around and get to EB PA 12. In other words, there's no direct ramp from SB US 222 to EB PA 12 (or vice versa: WB to NB).

- Took PA 12 to the end of the freeway northeast of Reading. As mentioned in a recent trip report, PA 12 is a Jersey freeway from US 222/422 to just north of the PA 183 junction, then it becomes regular freeway, though rather substandard at the River Rd and PA 61 interchanges.

- Turned back around and headed west on PA 12 through Reading, then picked up US 422/Future US 222. Mostly 6-lane freeway along what will be the future duplex.  The new freeway is complete down to PA 724, and looks like it could be complete back to existing US 222 within a few months: looked like all that was left was median construction and some miscellaneous work.

- From that location down to the existing freeway north of I-76, construction is in various states of completion, ranging from clearing to mainline/ramp pavement construction. Saw indications of 3 interchanges along this stretch, and saw one existing overpass about halfway down that will likely need to be removed. Also saw milemarkers that were in construction-sign colors (black-on-orange) rather than the normal white-on-green.

- From here, it was down US 222, then US 30 and PA 23 to check out the "Goat Path", which was supposed to be a PA 23 freeway extending east from the existing US 30/PA 23 West interchange, but wound up only partially built and then grassed over. At the US 30/PA 23 West interchange, PA 23 is depressed, and just east of the WB ramps would require about 15 feet of vertical excavation to continue the road east (as is currently proposed and being studied).

- Existing PA 23 east of US 30 is 2 lanes of old concrete, with a lot of traffic and homes and businesses. Took this route to PA 772 and south to check out the east end of the "Goat Path". The PA 23 freeway would have had a diamond interchange at PA 772, and you can see where the ramps were graded (but apparently not paved) for such an interchange. The mainline grading ends about 1/2 to the east of PA 772, and is visible from the PA 772 overpass.  PA 772 itself was widened to 4-lanes divided in the vicinity of the interchange.  Part of the mainline under the PA 772 overpass is being used by PennDOT and the county as a maintenance stockpile location...mostly snowplow parking from what I saw. Bad news to would-be Goat Path walkers (i.e. the Harrisburg meet):  there was a No Tresspassing sign for the stockpile area, and even without that, virtually all of the Goat Path is criss-crossed by electronic fences. A lot of animals seen grazing within the ROW...mostly cows and horses.

- While I was snapping photographs at PA 772, a limousine pulled up onto the bridge and stopped, and 4 people got out to look at the "Goat Path". They made no attempt to talk to me, and were back in the limo and off before I wandered back down to their position.

- Lots of Amish in this area...passed by 3 groups of Amish kids as I was driving between vantage points.

- Speaking of vantage points, there are five other locations to view the "Goat Path": from east to west (besides PA 772), there's an underpass at Horseshoe Rd (but next to impossible to walk up to see the goat path itself due to electric fences on the embankments), the old routing of Geist Rd, which still has a 1-lane gravel path across the "Goat Path" ROW, an overpass at Hartman Station Rd, another overpass at Willow Rd, and off of Pitney Rd (where one can see the west end of the completed grading just east of Millcross Rd). For those who will be attending the Harrisburg meet, if you make it to the "Goat Path" the best locations for stopping and viewing would be the three overpasses, which all have enough of a shoulder to stop and park a vehicle, plus there's the ramp terminals at PA 772.

- Once done with the Goat Path, I headed west on US 30 to York to catch I-83 south towards Baltimore. Construction at the interchanges with BUSINESS 83 and PA 182 are progressing well, with steel beams being placed for the flyover to NB BUS 83. Further south, Maryland still has a few BGS with button-copy MD shields...namely at MD 45 and MD 137.

- From I-83 I took I-695 Inner over to I-95 to complete my clinching of the I-695 Baltimore Beltway. This northern segment has 6 lanes, plus a left exit at MD 43. I-95 South, nominally 8 lanes, picks up a 5th southbound lane on approach to the I-95/895 split. I took I-895 in order to clinch it and take a trip through the Harbor Tunnel.

- SB I-895 has two locations where you can exit prior to reaching the tunnel:  Exit 14/Moravia Rd and Exit 12/Lombard St. If you miss those two, you're committed until after the tunnel. Virtually all of I-895 is only 4 lanes, with an occasional auxiliary lane at the interchanges north of the tunnel. I-895 flows under the newer I-95, and passes by the Fort McHenry Tunnel toll plaza before entering the Harbor Tunnel, with the Harbor Tunnel toll plaza on the south side of the tunnel.

- Passed easily enough through the EZPass lane, and continued south. South of the tunnel/toll booth, there are no locations to enter SB I-895...there are only locations to EXIT SB I-895. Just south of one of these exits (Exit 4/MD 295 South) I noticed a TO US 1 sign, with the US 1 shield being a cutout. Missed a photo opportunity, though.

- Prior to crossing over I-95, SB I-895 narrows down to one lane, and a new set of guardrail marks the location of the tragic truck accident from last winter, where a tanker truck left the I-895 roadway and barreled down the embankment into NB I-95 traffic.

- Was only briefly on SB I-95, as I took MD 100 east over to I-97 in order to finish that route. MD 100 is a 4-lane freeway between the two Interstates, but also has auxiliary lanes between interchanges and a "C/D Lane" at MD 295.

- Took I-97 down to its end at US 50/301, thereby clinching my third Interstate of the day. I-97 is 6 lanes north of MD 3/32, and 4 lanes south. Approaching US 50/301, VMS were reporting a 9 mile jam on EB 50/301 approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. With that in mind, I opted south instead of east, and took the short MD 665 freeway to MD 2 South.

- MD 2 has recently been reconstructed to a 6-lane divided arterial between the South River and MD 214. I recall this segment being under construction a couple years ago when I was last through the area. Would be nice if MD SHA would extend a 4-lane section on MD 2 down to Mt Zion.

- For those who didn't know, there is a roundabout at the MD 2/408/422 junction in Mt. Zion. I took MD 408 west from here over to MD 4. Was only on MD 4 briefly as I headed south on US 301 towards the Nice Bridge.

- Traffic on SB US 301 was surprisingly light. Made good time, even with the traffic signals. Thanks to EZPass, had no delay at the Nice Bridge toll booth, and even the cash users had minimal delay (less than a minute). Northbound was another story. Very heavy traffic, especially at the Nice Bridge. The NB approach on the Virginia side was backed up almost to VA 206, about a 3 mile backup.

- After stopping for gas at the US 301/VA 3 junction, I pretty much headed the straight way back: US 301/US 17/VA 105/I-64/US 13. At the Coliseum Central project, the EB exits to Mercury Blvd and I-664 have been shifted since my last time through, in order to facilitate paving operations. The WB Express Lane was not open yet, though I heard it finally opened up today.

- Clinched 3 Interstates (I-695 MD, I-895 MD, I-97), and added 16 counties to my list, including one new state (NH) and finally completing New York.  Total mileage for Trips 1, 4, and 5 was about 1400 miles (we used Meaghan's car for the VT trip). Cheapest gas was 1.729 at a Sheetz near Reading, PA. Most expensive was 2.179 in Rouses Point, NY.

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