This report is from Day 3 of our 2005 Summer Vacation, on July 30, 2005.

Day 3 of the Froggie/Ladymegs 2005 Great Circle Tour (long)

The Froggie/LadyMegs 2005 Great Circle Tour, Day 3: Rolling through the Ozarks

- Day 3 started the morning near Kingston Springs, TN, where we bid farewell to Billy as we started the day by getting gas near the I-40/TN 46 junction. There's a rail line that parallels TN 46 to the west in this vicinity, and some of the commercial establishments on the west side of TN 46 (including the gas station we stopped at) even have their own railroad crossing signals for crossing the tracks.

- Heading west on I-40, we stopped at the rest area a little west of TN 46 in search of maps. There's a white-background sign calling that rest area the "Johnny Cash Rest Area", complete with an Interstate shield that has "MUSIC HIGHWAY" instead of "INTERSTATE" and a couple of quarter-notes where the route number would be.

- Stayed on I-40 west to Jackson, except for a side trip down TN 13 to get Perry County for Meaghan. TDOT finally got around to widening the TN 22 overpass over I-40. My last time there (5 years ago), it was still a 2-lane overpass.

- Further west, westbound guide signage for Exit 79 (US 412) also includes a "TO I-155". We did just that, and took US 412 up towards Dyersburg.

- US 412 between I-40 and I-155 is a very nice 4-lane route. Mostly 65 MPH (once away from Jackson). Many of the TN routes that cross US 412 do so on overpasses, with interchange-style access ramps between US 412 and these cross-routes. The main downside with these interchanges are that most of the ramps are extremely tight (15 MPH) and lack acceleration or deceleration lanes.

- One of the at-grades along this part of US 412, at Fox Hill Rd near Alamo, has been converted to a "3/4 intersection" (as MnDOT calls them). Left turns are allowed FROM US 412, but only right-turns are allowed from Fox Hill Rd. "Through" and "left turns" from Fox Hill Rd must use U-turns a short distance down US 412 in either direction from the intersection.

- Near Dyersburg, the freeway section on US 412 begins after crossing the Slaughter Pen Rd/Beaver Rd intersection, about 1 1/4 miles south of TN 104. This freeway section continues north up to I-155.

- On I-155/US 412, the TN 181 interchange is also signed as the Great River Road.

- Very nice overhead-truss bridge over the Mississippi River on I-155/US 412. Wide bridge...has full shoulders. And the overall bridge (including approaches) is long too...probably about 2 miles.  Missed a photo opportunity, though...was in the process of swapping CDs in the camera.

- The US 412 Hayti, MO bypass was partially open last year when we came through on vacation. This year it was fully open, with all construction completed at the US 412/MO 84 junction on the west side of town. As I mentioned last year, the bypass, plus adjacent US 412 widening to the west, was done in full concrete, even the shoulders were concrete.

- A little east of Route A, US 412 goes back to 2 lanes, but construction is evident to widen it to 4 lanes...traffic was using the future westbound lanes in this area. The widening project ends a couple miles east of Kennett.

- Speaking of Kennett, the cheapest gas we saw anywhere on the trip was there...$1.969. Also the only location we saw gas for less than $2/gal.

- KY 84 turns into AR 90 crossing the St. Francis River, then AR 90 junctions with US 49 at an intersection where US 49 was rebuilt as the "through route". We followed US 49 down to Paragould.

- After stopping for lunch in Paragould, we continued west via US 412.  Starting on the west edge of Paragould, where US 412 narrows from 5 lanes to 2, there's a project going west from there which will partially straighten out US 412 and widen it to 4 or 5 lanes. The project is in various stages of construction and runs out to just west of AR 141.

- As the maps show, the US 67 bypass of Walnut Ridge is complete, though they only built 2 lanes north of US 412. Curiously, the median is extremely wide just north of US 412, and the newest DeLorme suggests that the future freeway will take a different routing than what US 67 does to get back to its existing alignment north of Walnut Ridge.

- Curiously, US 412 still goes through Walnut Ridge, rather than utilize US 67/US 63 to bypass it.

- Some heavy duty rock blasting east of Hardy. Looks like AHTD is building some sort of Hardy bypass for US 63 traffic.

- US 62/412 is a mix of 4-lane undivided and 5-lane undivided between US 63 and US 167.

- Prior to reaching Mountain Home, US 62/412 crosses a leg of Norfolk Lake on a fairly long and high-up bridge. Prior to this is a 40 MPH section where the roadway descends a hill while going through a resort area.

- I was actually disappointed in the Mountain Home bypass for two reasons. First, instead of a seamless transition to US 62/412 on either side, one is required to turn at both endpoints. Second, the traffic signals along the bypass were poorly timed.

- West of the Mountain Home bypass, US 62/412 is 5-lanes undivided out to near the east end of the Cotter bypass.

- Along the Cotter bypass is a scenic overlook that has a pretty good view of the old bridges (rail and old highway) across the White River in Cotter.

- Starting at AR 101, there a good bit of construction for what looks like a future Flippin bypass. Most of the work is on the eastern side.  Just some clearing so far on the west side of Flippin.

- From just west of AR 202 to just west of AR 125 North (west of Summit/Yellville) is an obvious new alignment of US 62/412. The pavement has a weird color though...feels like bituminous, but it's an odd shade of brown. This section included passing lanes in each direction.

- Somewhere near Pyatt was a US 62S route.

- The US 62/65/412 triplex through Harrison and on either side of town is 5-lanes divided throughout (and continues to the south of 62/412 for a couple miles apparently), though this involves a turn at the northern intersection with US 65B (Business).

- After turning onto 62/412 West from 65, there's about a mile-and-a-half or so of 2-lane road before 62/412 widens into a 4-lane divided highway with a 60 MPH speed limit. This 4-lane divided section ends just east of Alpena.

- Turned onto 412 at Alpena. Except for some turn lanes here and their, US 412 between Alpena and Huntsville is standard Arkansas 2-lane road, albeit a little curvy weaving around the hills in this region.  There is a 2-lane bypass of Huntsville, with truck climbing lanes and a folded-diamond interchange at AR 23, though the bypass also has private driveways and so isn't exactly limited-access.

- Starting near AR 303 north, AHTD was working on 4-laning US 412 up to the point where the existing 4-lane begins east of Springdale.

- While waiting at a red light east of I-540, I wound up behind a minivan with a license plate from Chihuahua, a Mexican state bordering New Mexico and southwestern Texas. My photo attempt did not turn out, unfortunately...

- Overhead signage at the US 59/412 split at the east end of the Cherokee Turnpike used a brown "SCENIC 412" shield for the non-toll route. The turnpike was signed as normal US 412.

- Our first (and certainly not last) 75 MPH speed limit exposure was on the Cherokee Turnpike.

- Rather than having two seperate interchanges as some of the larger atlas's suggest, the I-44/US 412/Creek Tpk junction is instead simply one slightly large interchange with an EB-NB flyover for EB I-44 through traffic. Where I-44 had previously split off from US 412 is now simply an exit to OK 66/Historic US 66. Old I-44 northeast of that junction simply no longer exists on paper, although the old pavement may still be there as this Google image suggests: or,-95.739670&spn=0.040875,0.092384&t=k&hl=en

- Took I-44 west, then took I-244 through Tulsa to see downtown.  Construction signs warned of construction at the I-44/US 169 junction and directed motorists wanting US 169 North to take I-244.

- Just west of OK 11, at Sheridan Rd, was an interchange with all-left exits and entrances, similar to US 41/IL 132 or I-290/IL 43 for those who are familiar with this greater Chicago interchanges.

- A number of ramps near downtown Tulsa were closed for some sort of maintenance work.

- I only caught a glimpse, but some signs on I-44 southwest of Tulsa suggested that Clearview has now invaded the Turner Turnpike.

- Once we got down to Oklahoma City (with the intent of staying at Tinker AFB for the night), I was surprised to see that most of I-35 between I-44 and I-40 was still only 4 lanes, though down at the south end the eastern I-35/I-40 junction has obviously seen reconstruction...the satellite image on Google shows the original configuration with reconstruction underway.

- We did get a room at Tinker, then were off in search of dinner which we found along I-240. I-240 between I-35 and I-44 is a 6-lane freeway with a set of one-way frontage roads on either side. There are a number of slip ramps between the two, and occasional U-turns between the frontage roads under the I-240 overpasses.

That's it for Day 3.

Coming up next: "Texas is flat" (but then suddenly isn't)

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