This report is from Day 2 of my 2006 summer vacation, on August 11, 2006
- Left Kingston Springs, TN around 6:10am local. I-40 eastbound into
Nashville is busy during the 6am hour, but was moving well, especially once it
picked up the 3rd lane around Exit 196 (US 70S).
- I-65 north was fast...fast enough to where a cop had someone pulled over just before the Cumberland River bridge.
- Noted a backup in the rightside lanes of southbound I-24/65 between Trinity Ln (US 431) and the 24/65 split. I can see the eventual need for 10 lanes along the 24/65 duplex, but that would require major reengineering of the Trinity Ln interchange, plus complete replacement of the Fern Ave overpass. Plus, it would go against the "Plan of Nashville", which in effect proposes removal of all freeways (except Ellington Pkwy) within a 440/Briley loop.
- With the recent widening completed, I-65 is WIDE north of Briley Pkwy (TN 155). At one point there were 7 northbound lanes, though there was a right-lane drop before the interchange at Old Hickory (TN 45), plus another lane drop at Old Hickory. 5 lanes continued on to the TN 386 split.
- KY is in the middle of a widening project on I-65 from the TN/KY state line to just south of KY 100 (Exit 6). I got off at KY 100 so did not see if there were any more widening projects north to Bowling Green.
- Starting with the side routes along KY 100, I took photos of several route termini within Kentucky as weather allowed (ran into rain this day too), should someone want to start a "Kentucky Ends" site.
- Given the "typical" Kentucky state route, I'm surprised they don't have more accidents in Kentucky than they currently do. Narrow lanes (average appears to be 10'), no shoulder, curves and hills up the wazoo, and driveways and intersections at inopportune locations (including at the tops of hills with limited visibility) all make for an unsafe (and slow) situation. Not saying that every route should be upgraded, but several major routes (including U.S. and NHS routes) saw segments with the conditions I described above.
- KY 100 had a nasty switchback section somewhere between Holland and Fountain Run.
- KY 1366 is a more direct route than KY 100 from east of Fountain Run to Tompkinsville.
- KY 163 has an "improved section" from the north side of Tomkinsville north for a few miles. I define "improved section" here as improved over the "typical Kentucky route" I described above. Full-width (12') lanes, paved shoulders, smoother and flatter cross-section, and ability to maintain 55-60 MPH (traffic notwithtanding).
- KY 90 likewise has an "improved section" from the Cumberland/Metcalfe County line west to a few miles short of KY 163, then again at KY 163 near where Kingsford has a plant that makes its famous charcoal.
- Noted that US 68 does not have a direct connection to the Cumberland Pkwy north of Edmonton. Instead, the Edmonton interchange is on US 68/KY 80 west of town.
- The US 68/KY 70/KY 61 junction on the south side of Greensburg is a nasty Y-junction with limited sight distance and sitting on a hill if coming from the south on 68/70.
- US 68 is an "improved section" between Greensburg and Lebanon, including a 4-5 lane segment through Campbellsville. This appears to be older vintage...pavement is starting to look worn and segments had a gravel shoulder instead of a paved shoulder. But it still moved very well.
- Lebanon has a really nice looking downtown.
- US 68 has another "improved section" that cuts the corner off near Brumfield. This segment is somewhat newer...my DeLorme shows it under construction. Old US 68 through Brumfield is now part of an extended KY 34 and also KY 1894.
- What used to be US 127 through the eastern part of Junction City is now part of KY 300 and KY 1273. Some maps also show a "KY 2141" along old 127 to the south of KY 300, though there is no signage for this from KY 300.
- US 127 is 5-lanes from just south of KY 300 up to BYPASS 127/150 at Danville. Noticed with Danville that with US 127 and US 150, the "vanilla route" goes through town while the bypass route is signed "BY-PASS US xxx".
- The southern US 127/BYPASS 127/BYPASS 150 junction was horribly congested along the southbound 127 approach. The reason appeared to be a heavy amount of right-turning traffic from SB 127 to WB BYPASS 127/150, made more problematic by the lack of a right-turn lane and heavy signage stating "NO TURN FROM SHOULDER".
- Danville is an excellent example of where Kentucky says 'Bypass' but really means 'Loop Road where you can develop to your heart's content'.
- The Harrodsburg Bypass on US 127 was much better. Little development and only a few traffic signals. That said, using the Harrodsburg Bypass requires a right turn (NB) or a left turn (SB) at each end. The north end of the bypass ties into KY 390.
- KY was in the process of adding left-turn lanes at the US 127/KY 1987 junction. Was surprised they didn't exist already.
- The US 127/Bluegrass Pkwy interchange is a 6-ramp par-clo.
- Some impressive rock cut on the west side approach to the Kentucky River bridge on the Bluegrass Pkwy.
- US 60 between the Bluegrass Pkwy and New Circle Rd (KY 4) was all concrete. The lights long here were also rather poorly timed.
- Noticed that New Circle Rd had exit numbers. Are these mile-based or sequential? Also noticed that the only route signed along New Circle Rd was KY 4. If these "BYPASS US xx" routes exist along New Circle Rd, they weren't signed.
- Three major items that point to the earlier lack of good transportation planning in the Lexington area: the lack of a freeway-grade connection between the Bluegrass Pkwy and I-64 or I-75 (yes I know it was planned and dropped due to NIMBYs, but they could have bypassed the horse farms), the lack of a freeway connection between New Circle Rd and I-64/75, and the heavy development and lack of freeway-grade on the eastern segment of New Circle Rd. In the last case, I made the mistake of using US 27 to get between New Circle Rd and I-64/75 and sat through three light cycles as a result.
- The oft-mentioned construction at the I-64/75 interchange was in the north/west-bound lanes only on this day. Traffic on NB 75 was backed up a bit as a result.
- The US 460/KY 11 interchange on I-64 at Mt Sterling (Exit 110) is under reconstruction, which looked to be part of a larger project to widen US 460/KY 11 from the interchange south at least partway into Mt Sterling.
- The first 5 or so miles of KY 11 north of I-64 needs some work.
- An "improved section" on KY 11 is under construction beginning about 5 miles north of I-64. Part of this project looks to have been recently opened to traffic, including what is now a Sharpsburg bypass for KY 11 that even has a few soundwalls built along it. The construction extends all the way up to KY 32.
- US 68 from KY 165 E south to KY 32 E also is an "improved section", though the northern segment of this looked like older-vintage improvement...gravel/graded shoulders instead of paved shoulders. There was a neat stone pedestrian overpass over US 68 in the vicinity of Blue Licks Battlefield State Park.
- KY 32/36 was slow going over to Cynthiana, and even required a stop and 90-degree turn at KY 1879.
- A segment of KY 32, from the Scott/Harrison County line west to Sadieville, was narrow and rural enough to where it lacked a centerline.
- In Sadieville was a narrow railroad overpass that was in the middle of an S-curve on KY 32.
- I-75 was 6-lanes from somewhere south of KY 32 to about 2 miles north of KY 32, where it narrowed back to 4 lanes.
- The segment of KY 875 between KY 330 and KY 22 is another KY route lacking a centerline.
- US 127 from somewhere south of KY 875 to just south of KY 35 is also an "improved section". My timing was apparently pretty bad as I wound up stuck behind a long line of vehicles along US 127 due to a school bus dropping kids off. I guess they start the school year early in Kentucky.
- Northbound KY 35 has a climbing lane heading up the hill from Sparta up to I-71.
- I-71 had what looked to be a fairly new interchange about a mile southwest of KY 35, presumably to better serve the Kentucky Speedway. IIRC it was Exit 55 or Exit 56, though I don't remember which Kentucky route it was, and it was raining enough at the time to prevent photographs.
- Crossing the US 421 bridge into Madison, IN, there was a long line of cars waiting at the end of the bridge. US 421 makes several 90-degree turns in Madison, and some of them have stop-sign control *ON* US 421. Wound up using local streets to detour around it, as my route intention was KY 7.
- Overhead banners on IN 56 in Madison proclaiming "Ribberfest", which is occurring this weekend.
- Where IN 7 begins on IN 56, there is also a TRUCK IN 7, as the mainline has a 12-ton weight limit heading up the cliff out of town.
- IN 7 was *VERY* busy all the way from Madison to Columbus...enough to where I think 4-laning might be justified. Taking a look at 2001 traffic counts, Madison to Vernon isn't so bad, but North Vernon to Columbus is definately justified, with 10K+ AADT on a 2-lane road.
- The segment of IN 46 through central Columbus is split onto a pair of one-way roads.
- The I-65/IN 46 interchange is a SPUI, with the I-65 bridge (I-65 being over IN 46) having an interesting type of tied arch.
- IN 252 apparently ends at CR 250W in Flat Rock, but there was no indication or signage of such.
- My drive between Flat Rock and Shelbyville exemplifies what I like about the rural road system in much of the midwest...it's consistent, reliable, fairly predictable, and in the case of central Indiana almost all of it is paved. I also used the road system to bypass around Connersville.
- Found a TRUCK US 52 in Rushville.
- Heading west into Indy on I-70, I-70 doesn't widen beyond 4 lanes until one exit before I-465 (Post Rd/Exit 91).
- The westbound Shadeland Ave offramp begins right underneath I-465, and forms part of a C/D road culminating in a 2-lane loop ramp down to Shadeland Ave.
- Southbound on the freeway spur part of Shadeland Ave, there's a blank spot on the guide signage to Washington St East, where a US 40 shield probably used to be.
- The southbound Brookville Rd offramp still had a US 52 trailblazer at the end of the offramp.
- Stopped for the night off I-65/Southport Rd. But not before I completed visiting all unvisited counties in both Kentucky and Indiana...thus "clinching" those states as far as county collection.
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