This report is from Day 2 of our 2005 Summer Vacation, on July 29, 2005.
The Froggie/LadyMegs 2005 Great Circle Tour, Day 2: House Call
- The day began at a hotel on US 60 just off the Barboursville, WV exit off I-64. There's a decent size shopping mall on the north side of I-64, and we took a quick swing through the mall area to get a better view of the partial-one-way-road setup they have to handle mall traffic, then headed back to I-64 and west.
- Median barrier construction underway on I-64 in the vicinity of US 60/Exit 15.
- Took a quick swing up US 52 into Ohio and back so I could get digital photos of this short freeway stub as well as the "Nick Joe Rahall II Bridge" across the river.
- Somewhere along the I-64/US 52 duplex is a bridge replacement project where the westbound bridge is being replaced and all traffic is using a 2-way/2-lane setup on the eastbound bridge.
- Got off at US 23 and we took that south for a ways, following the Big Sandy River south. One of the first things we noticed was a billboard for the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama...not exactly something I expected to see in the hills of eastern Kentucky, especially when we were already well off the Interstate.
- At the Boyd/Lawrence County line was a brown sign calling US 23 the "Country Music Highway", and noting Ricky Skaggs.
- While US 23 was 4-lane divided with a grassy median through Boyd County south of I-64, it was more of a 5-lane undivided through Lawrence County.
- Took KY 645 towards Inez, then KY 3 back to US 23 in order to get Martin County. KY 645 is also a 5-lane undivided through this area, as was KY 3, though the 4-lanes on KY 3 ends when you get to KY 321.
- Although it's still only 2 lanes, Kentucky has done a good job of providing turn lanes along the KY 3/321 duplex, then on KY 3 between KY 321 and US 23/460.
- Took KY 114 from Prestonburg over to Salyersville and the Mountain Pkwy. I've been on KY 114 before, and I remembered it as a good-quality 2-lane highway. IMO, this should be US 460, as it transitions seamlessly into US 460 approaching Salyersville.
- There's still an at-grade access from the Mountain Pkwy to KY 134 a few miles west of Salyersville.
- Got off the Mountain Pkwy at Exit 40 and took KY 715 south to cut the corner to KY 11, enroute to getting Lee County (and eventually Estill and Jackson Counties). KY 715 is very windy, as are many Kentucky state routes throughout the state. A stark contrast to KY 11, which has obviously been reconstructed and is now a high-quality 2-lane highway in this area, including turn lanes. Not sure when KY 11 was rebuilt, but my 1997 DeLorme shows it as a very windy road in this area.
- Followed a KY 498/KY 52/KY 1571/KY 1645 routing into Irvine. Very slow, as there's numerous curves and the roads are narrow and if you get behind someone slow, it's almost impossible to pass them. There's a CSX mainline in this area, and KY 1571 had a couple of "Rough Crossings" with the railroad. KY 1645 had a one-lane bridge just west of KY 1571.
- KY 52/89 crosses the Kentucky River at Irvine on a neat old steel overhead truss bridge before they split ways on the south side of the river. We followed KY 89 south to McKee. Again, very slow going, especially going up and down the hills near the Estill/Jackson County line. KY 89 has a scenic byway designation through part of Jackson County, and also in that area, between the county line and KY 3446, the roadway was so narrow that it didn't even have a centerline for several miles.
- Took KY 290 south from McKee, then onto KY 30. Starting a couple miles northeast of East Bernstadt, KY 30 has been relocated onto a new alignment that runs more or less due south. The realignment starts as 2 lanes, widens to 4, and eventually ends at the Daniel Boone (sic Hal Rogers) Parkway about a mile east of US 25.
- Stopped for lunch off the I-75/KY 192 junction, then back up to KY 80. The one-mile advance guide sign on NB I-75 for the KY 80 interchange still has a Daniel Boone Pkwy shield on it. Did not get a pic, unfortunately. The other guide signs have Hal Rogers Pkwy instead.
- Took KY 80 west towards Somerset. Having driven this route a few times now, I have to start questioning the need for an "I-66" through here. What *IS* needed, though, is 4-laning the rest of KY 80 between Somerset and London...even with the truck climbing lanes on the 2-lane portion, that segment is busy enough to justify full 4-laning.
- Took the KY 914 bypass loop around Somerset. Was disappointed to see that most of it is only 2 lanes...really needs to be 4 lanes based on the traffic we saw.
- A brief stint down US 27, then west on KY 90. There's a widening and partial realignment project underway on KY 90, starting at US 27 and running to a little west of the Cumberland River, including what looks to be a new 4-lane through-truss bridge over the Cumberland River.
- Stayed on KY 90, going around Monticello (which has a BUSINESS KY 90 route through town), then south on US 127 to Tennessee. Discovered the hard way that the US 127/TN 111 junction is right at the state line...some advance signage would have been helpful. As it was, I barely made the turn in time, as there's a little rise right before the state line and intersection, and NO signage for TN 111.
- TN 111 has a new alignment (as compared with the 1999 DeLorme) across the Wolf River and on the approaches on both sides. Nicely done, with wide shoulders and truck climbing lanes on either side. Traffic starts getting busy enough around here (starting at Byrdstown to the north) to where they could've done it as 4-lanes to begin with, though.
- Missed the turn to take TN 111 on the bypass around Livingston due to a stupid dump truck. The old route through town wasn't too bad, though, and gave us an opportunity to see a pair of one-way streets (the old route through town) and stop at a Dairy Queen for ice cream.
- Seeing a 65 MPH speed limit on TN 111 south of Livingston was a very nice sight. Made good time down to I-40. Some sort of construction on TN 111 at I-40...looked like some sort of repaving.
- Took I-40 west into Nashville. Two construction zones through here: at the US 231 interchange, and basically the whole length between the airport and I-24/440. It was the beginning of evening rush hour, and traffic wasn't too bad westbound, but eastbound was completely jammed.
- Took I-440 around...first time I've done the full route. I-440 is signed as the "Four-Forty Parkway", and I could see some parkwayish characteristics to the route (a result of the settlement that got it built).
- Back on I-40 to the west, saw the new ramps that opened up recently at Briley Pkwy. Also saw a lone bridge pillar just east of the Briley Pkwy overpass, a pillar that will eventually be used for the future EB 40 to NB Briley flyover.
- This is the point where we paid a house call near Kingston Springs to one William S. Riddle IV......known to most of MTR as simply "Billy Riddle". Got a tour of some of the backroads near Dickson, and we stayed at Billy's for the night.
Next on the agenda: a roll through the Ozarks.
Back to the Roadtrip Report Archive
Back to Magnolia Meanderings
(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig