This report was from Day 18 of my 2006 summer vacation, on August 27, 2006.
First of three days heading back to Mississippi, taking the long way in order
to see some new territory.
- Since my last time on it, MnDOT has rebuilt MN 316, adding paved shoulders and left turn lanes at several intersections.
- Starting around the 20th St/Bush St intersection and going to just south of Goodhue CSAH 5, MnDOT has rebuilt MN 58 into a 4-lane divided highway. This is nice, but I'm not sure how they're going to get a 4-lane connection to US 61.
- MN 60 has a 2-lane divided parkway segment in Kenyon.
- MN 60 takes two intersection turns in Faribault, and for the most part is 4-lanes undivided through Faribault.
- MnDOT is putting in a traffic signal on MN 60 at the I-35 South ramps. Of note is it's a temporary signal with a rare 5-lens doghouse signal.
- Noted wrap-up associated with getting the next stretch of US 14 4-lane highway completed and open. According to MnDOT, the new 4-lane section should be opening this weekend. From Waseca, US 14 will turn left at a new traffic signal at CSAH 27. The former CSAH 2/CSAH 27 junction has been realigned to allow a direct connection between CSAH 27 towards US 14 and CSAH 2 towards the west. About a mile west of this point, US 14 will curve north and follow the future WB on-ramp from CSAH 2 onto the new 4-lane alignment. A T-intersection provides access to CSAH 2, which follows the future EB off-ramp back up to CSAH 2's existing alignment. The new highway will be mostly at-grade, but will have a diamond interchange at Waseca CSAH 3 south of Janesville and a half-interchange to/from the west at Waseca CR 60 and soon-to-be-Old US 14 west of Janesville. At the time we drove through, there was a detour using CR 60 and CSAH 37, presumably to get the tie in on the west end of the project completed.
- Madelia has a sign along MN 60 styling itself as the "Pride of the Prairie".
- MN 15 is a mix of 4-lane urban divided and 5-lane undivide through Fairmont from I-90 south to Adams Ave, about 2.5 miles.
- Mast arm traffic signals along IA 9 in Estherville were aligned horizontally, Wisconsin-style, rather than the standard vertically.
- South of Estherville was the first of several "four corners" county lines Meaghan and I went to...all of these wound up being in the boonies on gravel roads, but Iowa has a fairly reliable rural road grid, so while there was a lot of gravel overall, we didn't have a whole lot of gravel at any one time.
- Passed a long procession of 8-10 tractors on CR N18, north of US 18.
- We saw *A LOT* of wind generators that looked like they stretched along some sort of ridgeline. They started north of IA 3, about 10-12 miles west of US 71, and stretched southward down to near US 20.
- There was some sort of festival going on in Hanover, a small hamlet in southwestern Buena Vista County (CR M27 and CR C65). Of note were portable stop signs that were used at the entrance to the parking lot.
- Went through both Kimballton and Elk Horn on IA 173. Neither town looked like much.
- Downtown Atlantic has several intersections with side-mounted traffic signals. Reminded me a lot of Minneapolis.
- US 6 is mostly 3-lane through Atlantic.
- Had to get very creative due to a detour on US 71 between IA 92 and US 34.
- Noted that US 34 widens briefly to 4 lanes and has a folded-diamond interchange at US 71.
- At the Montgomery/Adams/Page/Taylor County quad point, the roads leading away from the point had names such as "Taylor-Page Ave", "Montgomery-Page St", and "Adams-Taylor St".
- Saw that both US 71 and IA 2 have business routes in Clarinda.
- The Maryville bypass on US 71 is 2-lanes, undivided, and at-grade, though with partial access control. One odd note is the south end of the bypass, where the movements from SB US 71 to NB BUSINESS 71 and SB BUSINESS 71 to SB 71 utilize the parallel set of lanes (the future southbound lanes), even though US 71 itself is only 2 lanes through the intersection...the 4-lane section begins about 1/4 mile to the south. Unfortunately it was raining so I didn't get a photo.
- Some of the 4-laning on US 71 between Maryville and Savannah looked to be of recent vintage. Other segments definately utilized what H.B. Elkins calls "Virginia Twinning"....you could definately tell when you were on the original lanes.
- Contrary to most maps, the 4-lane segment between US 59/BUSINESS 71 and I-29/I-229 is freeway-grade. There were interchanges at both US 59 North/BUSINESS 71 South and at Route T.
- Noted that the ramp from southbound 59/71 to southbound I-29 was both a left exit and a left entrance. The reciporical movement from NB 229 to NB 29 was the same.
- Stopped for the night in St. Joseph, MO.
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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig