NE OH to SW MI notes 8/1-2

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Marc Fannin

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Aug 3, 2004, 8:41:42 PM8/3/04
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I just returned from a trip to Southwest Michigan (August 1-2)
starting in Lake County, Ohio (between Cleveland and PA along Lake
Erie).

Route out: Ohio SR 2 WB to I-90 WB (part with I-80/Ohio Turnpike) to
Baumhart Rd. NB (Ohio Turnpike Exit 135) to SR 2 WB to I-280 SB to
I-80/90 (Ohio Turnpike/Indiana Toll Road) WB to US 31 NB

Route back: M(ichigan)-43 EB to US 131 SB to I-94 EB to I-69 SB to
I-90 EB (most with I-80/Indiana Toll Road/Ohio Turnpike) to Ohio SR 2
EB

(Things not mentioned below are mentioned in previous reports:
http://www.roadfan.com/triprep.html )

[Ohio:]

- It has been reported that signage at each end of SR 611 in the
Lorain area is gone, meaning the designation might be in the process
of being removed, in spite of SR 611 records remaining intact on
ODOT's website.
http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/greatlakesroads/message/3391
All signage remains on I-90/SR 2 and related offramps for SR 611,
though, and I'm pretty sure I saw a SR 611 EB confirmation marker from
90/2 on the way back as well. SR 611 was even mentioned in the
Cleveland newspaper road column yesterday (second question), with no
mention of the designation going away.
http://tinyurl.com/62ded
(www.cleveland.com/news/plaindealer/compass/index.ssf?/base/opinion/1091439077156151.xml
- Anonymous login required)

- I-90/SR 2 at SR 57 between Lorain and Elyria is now a 6-ramp partial
cloverleaf ("parclo") as illustrated in the map at
http://www.57fortomorrow.com/StudyArea.htm . It was formerly a full
cloverleaf.

- The I-90/SR 2 split at the SR 2-to-Ohio Turnpike connector which
carries I-90
http://www.roadfan.com/902split.gif
now has freestanding assemblies for I-90 and SR 2 in the gore.

- FINALLY, construction for the SR 58 interchange on the Ohio Turnpike
just west of the I-90 entry! Concrete ramps are mostly complete, toll
booth is well underway, and, using practicality, the Turnpike
Commission is recycling the overpass for the removed Norfolk Southern
rail line for the access ramps, which then run along the old grade to
SR 58 where the rail line used to use an overpass.
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=2&s=12&x=499&y=5727&z=17&w=2

- Lorain County usually doesn't have markers for its county routes
IME, but because of the Turnpike interchange, there are confirmation
markers on Baumhart Road at the interchange (CR 51) above
expressway-style signs saying "Baumhart Rd".

- The SR 2 freeway in Lorain County is already weird, using
Interstate-style milemarkers which reset at county lines (the normal
milemarker on Ohio non-Interstates, even freeways, is a black-on-white
small square sign), and even a few exit numbers to go along with them
( http://www.roadfan.com/lorain.html#oh2 ). Now there are
ARMITIS-style 2/10 milemarkers there (
http://www.artimis.org/system.php ) which also use the mileage to the
Erie/Lorain County line; however, on the other freeway section of SR 2
(eastern end of the route westward to I-90 in Euclid), the 2/10
milemarkers use the mileage to the Indiana/Ohio state line....

- Cedar Point Amusement Park ( http://www.cedarpoint.com/ ) is now
more easily visible from SR 2 than it has been in the past, mostly due
to taller coasters having been built ;)

- There does in fact appear to be an abandoned section of SR 2 on the
north side of the modern alignment right where the latter goes from
divided to undivided near Camp Perry west of Port Clinton.
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=10&x=1649&y=23004&z=17&w=2
(I had said previously that from my earlier experiences that there
probably wasn't.)

(There also appears to be an abandoned north-south section just east
of the "Bono Curve" further west.
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=10&x=1558&y=23059&z=17&w=2
)

- Just east of the eastern entrance to Crane Creek State Park on the
south side of SR 2 were a pair of signs inquiring about information
regarding a semi accident, with a phone number listed. I assume this
was referring to the tragedy in late June
http://www.toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040623/NEWS01/406230393
since it was only about a mile west of where that happened (the Turtle
Creek bridge just west of SR 19's north end at SR 2). (For those who
don't know, this is a notorious stretch of road carrying lots of
summer traffic as well as Turnpike avoiders, and is being studied for
improvements, some of which are being made right now - see
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/dist2/SR2/SR2.htm )

- SR 2 approaching I-280 wasn't as congested as I thought it'd be.

- The Ohio Turnpike does have 1/10 milemarkers of sorts. Every
reflector is 1/20-mile apart, and every other reflector has a tiny
white-on-black sign with a digit below it.

- At the Ohio Turnpike exit with SR 2 by the Toledo airport west of
Toledo, there is a black-on-yellow sign saying "EXIT LANE ONLY" with a
curving arrow pointing to the rightmost of the three lanes which split
into two mainline/two offramp lanes at the exit, with a SR 2 marker
under the sign. That means that this is one of the few Turnpike exits
which says "EXIT ONLY" at the exit and actually means it (IIRC they
all say it, even when it isn't the case, since most exits just involve
a branching offramp, no lane drop).

[Indiana:]

- The Indiana welcome sign on the Toll Road has been removed from the
overhead support http://www.roadfan.com/intr08.gif and placed on a
faux stone support on the right side.

- For the fair warning files: There is a sign warning of construction
on "[80][94] NORTHWEST INDIANA" just into Indiana from Ohio. I also
saw one nearby on I-69 SB just into Indiana from Michigan on the way
back. (Of course, that's the Borman Expressway project - see
http://www.state.in.us/dot/div/specialprojects/borman/ )

- The Toll Road now has signs identifying streams crossing under in
culverts as well as those crossing under bridges.

- I think I briefly saw a yellow light flashing on an animal detection
sign in the small area on the Toll Road which has them, in the MM 130s
( http://www.sensor-tech.com/pdf/Rads.pdf ). That would be the first
time I've seen one operating.

- I assume most toll facility service areas do not have official state
maps since the facilities are run by separate toll commissions. The
Indiana Toll Road, however, has been run by INDOT for over 20 years
now, yet no Indiana official maps in the two service areas I used.
Perhaps the closest thing to an official Toll Road map, a foldout in a
booklet full of ads and coupons, may have something to do with it....

- ARTIMIS-style 2/10 milemarkers (see above) now run along the Toll
Road from at least US 31 eastward to CR 17 ("Elkhart East"
interchange, Exit 96).

[Michigan:]

- Current US 31 was converted from expressway to freeway between Bus.
US 31 (Exit 7) to Old 31/just-extended M-139 (Exit 15), yet
confirmation markers appear just after every road crossing in each
direction, even the over- and underpasses.

- On the US 31 ramp to Napier Avenue (all traffic must take it - 31
continues west on Napier because the freeway is not finished north of
here), there are new I-94 trailblazers. (No, I haven't heard anything
new about the status of the freeway northward from here to I-94 -
http://www.michigan.gov/mdot/0,1607,7-151-9621_11058_22860---,00.html
)

- The I-196-to-I-94WB ramp (mainline US 31 SB) now becomes the right
lane of I-94 WB/US 31 SB. Formerly it merged into I-94 with the third
lane forming on the left side of the highway, the reverse of which
still exists EB.

- I-196/US 31 in southern Van Buren County goes through an area of
sand dunes, although it's not apparent unless vegetation is gone in
patches, revealing the sand. The more remarkable feature there is the
isolation of the two roadways, not so much because of the distance
between but because of the thick amount of trees and other vegetation.
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=2&s=12&x=694&y=5850&z=16&w=2

- 196/31 over the Black River outside South Haven is washboardy, in
contrast to the surrounding roadway. (I think this may be due to
what's said at the end of
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=bmn2n7$2i19$1...@msunews.cl.msu.edu
)

- The official trailblaze route from 196/31 SB to M-43, there due to a
lack of interchange, follows I-196 BL SB eastward, then intercounty
route CR A2 (old US 31) SB. I didn't expect an official
state-to-state connection to follow that, since according to
http://www.michiganhighways.org/listings/county_highways.html these
are true county highways, although signage seemed up to state standard
(and I think I even saw a state sticker on the back of one).

- CR A2 around South Haven has Michigan Lefts
( http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/michigan_left.html ); signs
approaching them say "TURN LEFT ONLY" (not "LEFT TURN ONLY" - "No
thanks, I'd like to keep going straight ahead....").

- M-43 at 9th St west of US 131 near Kalamazoo has left turn signals
with the ubitiquous Michigan backlit "LEFT" signs above the left turn
signals ( http://www.roadfan.com/bh09.gif ), but not all signals for
all directions of the center two signal assemblies are left turn
signals, so the "LEFT" is blacked out where they aren't. Haven't seen
that before.

- In contrast to Indiana, the overpass/underpass identification signs
on Michigan freeways seem to be disappearing unfortunately.

- Highway Rationalization update, I-94, I-69 signs
http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/rationalization.html
(Some might not be new information)
- M-331 is not listed on Westnedge signs Kalamazoo EB (didn't see
WB)
- M-37 is listed on the I-94 BL Battle Creek exit sign at the exit
but not the 1-mile sign EB (on all WB that I saw)
- M-294 is listed on the Beadle Lake Rd sign EB/WB (with a wide
diamond; I also saw new signs for other 3dMs with right-angle
diamonds)
- No sign (no pun intended) of M-227 from I-69

- Michigan is one of those states which puts a white background behind
Interstate business loop markers on freeway guide signs. Well, on a
couple of I-94 EB signs, there is a green border inside the white
area, so it goes green (sign) -white-green (border)-white-green
(shield)-white (shield text). Conversely, the sign at the I-94 BL
Marshall exit from I-69 SB goes the other way, as it's an exception to
the white-background style, not having one behind the shield.

[Indiana:]

- I saw the "secret" ramp from the I-69SB-to-Toll Road ramp to the
Toll Road-to-I-69SB ramp to provide access from I-69 SB to the Toll
Road-to-SR 120/127 ramp for the outlet mall (twin signs say "MALL
[left diagonal arrow]/TOLL ROAD [right diagonal arrow]"). Rather
unsafe as this makes an almost direct angled crossing of the I-69
onramp.
http://groups.google.com/groups?th=b886ae387b009586
http://terraserver-usa.com/image.aspx?t=1&s=10&x=3331&y=23109&z=16&w=2

[Ohio - any comments from the return trip were included above]

Questions welcome :)

________________________________________________________________________
Marc Fannin|musx...@kent.edu or @hotmail.com| http://www.roadfan.com/

[Also posted at Yahoo! Groups GreatLakesRoads]

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