This report was from Day 19 of my 2006 summer vacation, on August 28, 2006.
Second of three days heading back to Mississippi, and going through some new
territory in the process. We began the day in St. Joseph, MO.
- Tooled around St. Joseph for a little bit, clinching I-229 in the process.
- Noticed a half-interchange on I-229, for MO 752, which was signed as Exit 1D. Looking at aerial images, MO 752 looks like it's a Super-2 for a short distance west of I-229.
- Noted the double-decker section of I-229, threaded between the Missouri River, a rail line, and downtown St Joseph. Northbound is on the upper deck while southbound follows the lower deck.
- On southbound I-229, the control cities for US 36 are Cameron and Hiawatha. Northbound, the control cities are Cameron and Kansas.
- The I-229/US 36 interchange is definately an odd one. It functions as a half-diamond to/from the south, a partial directional between the north and east, and indirect connections between the north and west. Due to the "half diamond" configuration, there are two traffic signals along US 36. Between this and the tight ramp spacings to the east and west along US 36, the speed limit on US 36 in the vicinity is 45 MPH.
- Headed west on US 36 into Kansas. US 36 is a freeway from the river westward as it bypasses Elwood, then it turns into a 4-lane undivided on the approach into Wathena, then finally a 3-lane street (center left turn lane) through Wathena.
- US 36 bypasses Troy on a Super-2 Expressway with an interchange at "Last Chance Road" (which used to be KS 7 South).
- Further west, there is a new interchange at KS 7, which now completely bypasses Troy as well. The interchange is a standard diamond, with the bridge long enough to accommodate 4 lanes on US 36. When/if US 36 becomes 4 lanes through here, the existing lanes will become the eastbound set.
- Improvements associated with the KS 7 bypass of Troy extend to just south of KS 20.
- KS 7 has a really odd route with several 90-degree intersection turns in Atchison.
- US 73 joins KS 7 in Atchison. The first 1.5 miles or so south of US 59 is 4-lanes divided, then south of there US 73/KS 7 becomes a high-quality 2-lane highway with wider shoulders and several hill-climbing lanes. These improvements were also generally along a new alignment, and in several locations the old alignment parallels the highway as a frontage road.
- Took KS 192 across to US 59, then south on US 59. There was bridge work being done north of Oskaloosa that had US 59 down to a single lane controlled by traffic signals.
- US 59 widened to a 4-lane undivided through Oskaloosa. Over the years, I've noticed this sort of thing several times across the Plains states.
- From north to south through Lawrence, US 59 widens to 4 lanes just north of US 40, then makes 2 turns within Lawrence. The 2nd of these turns is an odd sort of half-intersection/half-interchange, where the connection to/from the south is the intersection, with ramps to/from the north connecting to McDonald Dr, which connects to I-70.
- The 4-lanes along US 59 ends about a mile south of the "South Lawrence Trafficway" (KS 10 to the west). For a couple miles further south, it looks like US 59 sits on a 4-lane right-of-way.
- The US 56/US 59 junction is a 4-way stop.
- Approaching Ottawa, US 59 again becomes 4-lanes undivided and generally remains such through town. There's an odd 2-3 block area near I-35 where each direction on US 59 swings wide, almost as if it were on 2 different streets.
- Microsoft Streets&Trips suggests that the I-35/US 59 interchange is a 6-ramp par-clo. Terraserver imagery from 1991 even shows it as a full cloverleaf. The interchange looked fairly newly rebuilt, however, and is now a standard diamond, as Mapquest properly shows.
- A BUSINESS US 169 exists in Garnett.
- Just south of Garnett, the US 169/US 59/KS 31 junction has recently been rebuilt into a roundabout. Some brickwork was still going on when we passed by. Terraserver shows the previous configuration as a sort of Y-junction.
- US 169 from just north of KS 58 (which most maps still label as KS 57) south to US 54 appears to be a newer-vintage Super-2 Expressway. It doesn't appear on 1992 Terraserver imagery.
- US 169 is a Super-2 Freeway from US 54 southward to about 2 miles south of Chanute. The overpasses from US 54 south to the Tank Farm Rd interchange near Humboldt are long enough to accommodate a future 4-lane section on US 169. South of there, the overpasses are not wide enough for 4 lanes.
- A short segment of this Super-2, from just north of the KS 39 interchange to just north of the 35th St interchange in Chanute, is a 4-lane narrow urban freeway section with several rock cuts along the sides.
- At-grade intersections return about a mile south of the 35th St interchange.
- The US 169/KS 47 junction is a 4-way stop.
- US 400 had a half-diamond/half-folded-diamond interchange at US 169, where the WB 400 off-ramp is the loop. Reason for this configuration is because the northeast quadrant of the interchange has a relatively new (and clean) rest area sandwiched between US 169 and the parallel railroad tracks.
- We were going to have lunch in Coffeyville, but a long and SLOW-moving train at an at-grade crossing on the Cherryvale bypass (why was no overpass built here???) tipped our hand and we backtracked up to US 400.
- Heading west, US 400 widens to 4 lanes just before a diamond interchange at US 75 South, which we followed down to have lunch in Independence instead.
- Within downtown Independence, rather than head straight south to have a single turn at US 160, US 75 instead makes three turns.
- The US 75/US 160 duplex is generally 4 or 5 lanes undivided.
- US 75 has a fairly tight trumpet interchange at US 166 West.
- Further south, US 75 widens to a 4-lane divided highway right at the Olkahoma state line.
- US 75 is 4-lanes divided or 5-lanes undivided south to Bartlesville, with a lot of commercial development once one approaches Bartlesville.
- US 60 West and Adams Blvd east have a 6-ramp par-clo interchange at US 75. I'd have thought any interchange would favor US 75 instead of the cross-street.
- US 60 is generally 4-lanes undivided between US 60 and OK 123, as it travels through Bartlesville, which very much looks like an oil company town. ConocoPhillips has a large technology center just within the Osage Indian Reservation, and the company also has a small skyscraper in downtown Bartlesville.
- US 60 has about a mile of duplex with US 75 before heading east. It stays 4-lanes until about a mile and a half east of US 75, then narrows to 2 lanes.
- US 60 makes 4 different turns within Nowata. Further east, there's a neat steel through-truss bridge over the Verdigris River. Further east of there, a bridge replacement project resulted in a temporary bypass.
- Along US 69 in the vicinity of Big Cabin, there were several semi trailers parked off the side of the road that had "SPEED TRAP AHEAD" painted along the sides. Couldn't tell if it was an actual warning or rather a ploy by local law enforcement to get people to slow down....did not see any cops in the area.
- Between Big Cabin and Muskogee, US 69 is generally 4 or 5 lanes undivided in the towns it passes through and 4-lanes divided in the rural areas.
- Noted that the free section of the Muskogee Turnpike near Muskogee is signed as OK 165. The interchange at US 62 was a cloverleaf.
- US 62 is a mix of 4-lanes divided and 5-lanes undivided from Muskogee eastward to just east of the Illinois River (yes, Oklahoma has one of these too) east of Tahlequah. This includes 2 turns and a 4-way multiplex (US 62/OK 10/OK 51/OK 82) in Tahlequah.
- Between the Illinois River and where OK 51 East splits off, although the speed limit is 65 MPH, it's hard to maintain that speed due to several sharp curves, limited passing opportunity, and even a 25 MPH switchback.
- By contrast, OK 51 was relatively straight between US 62 and Stilwell.
- US 59 is generally 5 lanes through Stilwell, narrowing back to 2 lanes right where OK 100 turns east.
- A few climbing lanes existed along US 59 between Stilwell and Sallisaw.
- A short 5-lane section existed on US 59 south of I-40. South of here, Oklahoma appears to be trying to widen US 59 to 4 lanes south to an existing 4-lane section across the Arkansas River floodplain.
- Oklahoma is also widening a segment of the US 271/OK 9 duplex between Spiro and the Poteau River. It does not appear that the project includes widening across the Poteau River (which will require a new bridge due to the existing through-truss span) or east of there towards OK 112.
- There are still several circle OK 9 shields in the area.
- Stopped for the night in Fort Smith, AR.
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