This report is from Day 3 of my 2006 summer vacation, on August 12, 2006

Froggie's 2006 Summer Vacation Day 3: You Spent HOW Much?!?!?!

Too much, according to some people. $205 at a gaming convention that I didn't even spend an hour at. At least I got one of the limited edition Battletech books...

- Much of the first half of the day was spent tooling around the Indianapolis freeway system between getting some work done on the car first thing in the morning and my brief appearance at GenCon. Passed through the "Hyperfix" (or whatever they called it). The bridges look nice, but I was surprised that INDOT used asphalt (and almost bituminous-like asphalt) for most of the 65/70 duplex. I guess concrete would have taken more time to cure.

- Downtown Indianapolis looked very nice and urban. Will have to go back someday to shoot photos. On a road-related note, there were several combined I-65/70 trailblazer shields around downtown Indianapolis, usually with a white vertical line down the middle of the shield with 65 on the left and 70 on the right.

- The northern I-65/I-70 junction definately has the extra bridging and grading to suggest what was alternately proposed as I-165 or I-69 heading north from the junction.

- I-65 has an interesting C/D road setup where it follows the 38th St corridor in northwestern Indianapolis.

- Was surprised to see that 6+ laning on I-65 still only extends to I-465 at Exit 123. Would have expected some further 6-laning to the northwest.

- On eastbound I-865 before the interchange with I-465, there was a guide sign that stated "US 52 EAST FOLLOW I-465 EAST TO EXIT 47".

- A lot of work going on with I-465 interchanges at 71st St, 86th St, and I-865.

- Several overhead guide signs, not just on I-465 but also noted on I-65, had blank spaces where route shields used to be...before INDOT moved all the through-Indy non-Interstate routes to I-465.

- Noted that the Indianapolis beltway, unlike I-494/694 around the Twin Cities, has at least 3 lanes each direction throughout.

- Noted the lengthy dual-dual setup on I-70 west from I-74/465 west to around Six Points Rd, including the completed-bridges/uncompleted-ramps at what will be the future interchange into Indianapolis airport.

- Several signs on I-70 noting construction on IN 267, which was under construction north of I-70 and closed outright south of I-70. Somewhat related were lane closures on eastbound I-70 between IN 267 and Six Points Rd.

- Noted that the eastbound I-70 exit to south/east/"outer" I-74/I-465 was right underneath Six Points Rd, a good 4 miles from I-74/465 itself. That ramp movement now follows the eastbound outer roadway past the future airport interchange.

- The short "Airport Expressway" freeway between I-70 and the current airport entrance had a 45 MPH speed limit going westbound.

- Took US 52 instead of I-65 between Lebanon and Lafayette. Was surprised to see that US 52 has a 60 MPH speed limit for the most part along this stretch.

- There are four separate turns required to stay on IN 25 through Lafayette.

- US 41 has a short 4-lane segment near Veedersburg, IN that begins about a mile north of I-74 and continues to about 1.5 miles south of I-74. This includes a short US 41/136 duplex.

- The east-west part of US 136 through Danville is mostly 5-lane undivided. A segment near downtown was under reconstruction with 2-lane/2-way traffic in the westbound lanes for several blocks.

- The US 136/US 150 junction in Danville is unusual, in that traffic from westbound US 136 to east(south)bound US 150/IL 1 turns left before the main intersection, and follows a leg to 150/1 south of the main intersection. It's almost like half a continuous-flow intersection. Here's a Terraserver image:

- US 150 continues west from here (US 136/IL 1) first as 4-lane undivided, then as 4-lane divided out to I-74 at Exit 210.

- As I've taken I-74 before and for a change of pace, I took US 150 between Danville and Champaign.

- St Joseph, IL is the worst town in eastern Illinois as far as I'm concerned. To start out, I inadvertantly passed a cop while approaching town from the east...didn't realize the car I was passing was a cop until I was halfway through my pass. He didn't pull me over though, so that was a minor bright spot. Second, I discovered at a gas station in town that I had left my spare car keys at the Toyota dealership in Indianapolis that did work on my car that morning...too late to turn around (they mailed them to my father's place). Lastly, just as I pull out of the gas station, the town starts a parade along the main north-south street in town, completely blocking off US 150 with no way to get back around to it on the other side of town.

- Once free of the St Joseph logjam, I stayed on US 150 through Urbana and Champaign. Why does US 150 (and US 45 too) turn south for 4 blocks to Springfield Ave through Champaign? Why doesn't US 150 just stay on University Ave, especially since University Ave is the eastbound feed from I-72?

- Took I-72 across the state from here. BUSINESS US 51 in Decatur was signed from I-72 as a US 51 shield with "BUSN" within the shield and above the route numbers.

- Wondering when/IF IDOT will ever 6-lane the I-55/72 duplex.

- Noted that the new-alignment part of US 67 south of I-72 is now open. Some of the old US 67 routing is now an extension of IL 267. When did this new-alignment US 67 open? (the part south of I-72, not the part north on the Jacksonville bypass)

- Apparently, bicycles are allowed to use the I-72/US 36 Mississippi River crossing. There was a sign on the westbound on-ramp from IL 106 that said "BICYCLISTS MUST USE RIGHT SHOULDER".

- Once in Missouri, the MO 79/BUSINESS 36 interchange was signed Exit 157, while the US 61 interchange had no exit number.

- At the end of the westbound bridge over US 61 was a sign stating "END I-72 CONSTRUCTION CONTINUE (up arrow) ON WEST US 36".

- Pursuant to a previous thread...even though I-72 ends at US 61, US 36 looks very much Interstate-grade from there west to just past the eastern US 24/36 junction. I would imagine I-72 was not extended past US 61 because "US 24 EAST/Palmyra" is not considered a 'logical termini'.

- Several at-grade intersections along the US 24/61 duplex...I didn't remember these but it has been 6 years since I was last in the area. A couple of the interchanges had very tight ramps that looked more like right-in/right-outs than actual ramps.

- With the 4-laning that was done a few years ago, the combined La Grange/Canton bypass on US 61 can now be considered full freeway. There were also auxiliary lanes between the Rte P and MO 16 interchanges in Canton.

- Paving is underway on the new set of lanes for about the first 6-7 miles or so north of the Canton bypass, as noted in a thread a couple weeks ago. Given some of the curves plus the condition of the existing lanes, I would imagine traffic will become 2-lane/2-way on these new lanes (possibly by the end of autumn) and then the old lanes get reconstructed.

- From about 7 miles north of Canton to just south of MO 27, not a whole lot of work is going on...just some clearing and a bridge or two.

- US 61 is detoured onto MO 27 and US 136, and as noted in a recent thread the northbound detour shields are error "MO 61" shields instead of US shields.

- Was surprised to see that the old toll bridge over the Des Moines River at St Francisville is still open to traffic. Did not take it, but I would imagine it's toll free now given the proximity of the free MO/IA 27 crossing.

- Was nice to see construction finally finished on Iowa's portion of the Avenue of the Saints. I've been following the corridor from time to time since 1998 and I'm glad to see it finished.

- Stopped for the night in Mt Pleasant, IA.

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