Homecoming trip 2000 (SW Mich.) Part I

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Marc Fannin

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Apr 23, 2000, 3:00:00 AM4/23/00
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I have returned to my original home of Berrien County, Michigan, to
visit my family for Easter. So far I don't have many new observations
as compared to my trip back here last year (those can be found at
http://www.deja.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=489369656&fmt=text ), but
there are a few.

Route: Essentially I-90 WB from Exit 193 Ohio to US 31 NB

-- Euclid, Ohio (on a side trip for gas) has been replacing its traffic
signals lately, but there are still a plethora of 1940's-style signals
there.

-- The Toledo-to-Youngstown third lane on the I-90 section of the Ohio
Turnpike is mostly complete and well underway almost everywhere where
it's not.

-- As previously reported here, the US 27 shields have been removed
from all the BGSs near the I-69 interchange on the Indiana Toll Road,
but the text sign at the overpass still says "I-69/U.S. 27/S.R. 127".
Only one of those is correct now.

-- US 31 freeway news, Part I: Napier Avenue at and east of I-94 Exit
30 Michigan is under construction to convert it into US 31 when the
freeway is extended to Napier by 2004. One two-lane-wide right-of-way
has been cleared away on the north side of Napier from 94 to Lake
Michigan College about a mile or so east.

-- US 31 freeway news, Part II: According to some family members, the
northernmost course of the proposed US 31 freeway (Napier to I-94 at I-
196) has been altered. While the residences on the south side of
Territorial Road (the first road that US 31 would cross going south
from I-94) have been gone for quite some time, an old house and and
even older dairy barn have just been refurbished. I haven't seen
anything from MDOT concerning a re-route, so I'm assuming (1) The
owners of the buildings renovated them to give them historic status, or
(2) The owners simply renovated them to convince MDOT to re-route the
freeway, which isn't going to happen. Remember, these are just MY
assumptions.

Map: terraserver.microsoft.com/image.asp?S=12&T=2&X=690&Y=5830&Z=16&W=2

On a whim I picked up a Kodak Advantix disposable camera to see how
well it would take pictures, and it works better than the reloadable
camera that I have that broke! I will probably have taken about 40-50
photos by tonight. It's just a matter now of getting them scanned.

Part II after I get back to Ohio tonight.


--
Marc Fannin, currently very close to I-196/US 31 -- musx...@kent.edu
http://www.personal.kent.edu/~musxf579/home.html
Roads: http://members.xoom.com/musxf579/roadsite.html


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Before you buy.

Marc Fannin

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Apr 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM4/24/00
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musx...@kent.edu (Marc Fannin) wrote:

> I have returned to my original home of Berrien County, Michigan, to
> visit my family for Easter. So far I don't have many new observations
> as compared to my trip back here last year (those can be found at
> http://www.deja.com/[ST_rn=ps]/getdoc.xp?AN=489369656&fmt=text ), but
> there are a few.
>
> Route: Essentially I-90 WB from Exit 193 Ohio to US 31 NB
>

> [snip -- see http://www.deja.com/getdoc.xp?AN=614715732&fmt=text ]


>
> Part II after I get back to Ohio tonight.

Route back: US 31 SB to US 20 EB (including a 20/31 multiplex) to the
new IN 331 segments and various local roads to I-90 EB

(Included below are a few things I forgot in Part I)

-- People have said that there are signs informing travellers about the
construction on the S-curves on US 131 in Grand Rapids
( http://www.us-131detour.com/ ) posted at pretty distant locations
from he project. I can attest to that. A pair are located on I-94 EB
just north of the Exit 33 overpass (BL-94 Benton Harbor/St. Joseph
eastern terminus).

-- There is now at least 3/4-access between US 31 and Nimtz Parkway
(first road south of the Indiana Toll Road); formerly there had only
been access between the Toll Road ramps for 31 and Nimtz.

-- The South Bend bypass/St. Joseph Valley Parkway (US 20/31) is being
rebuilt between US 20/Lincolnway West and IN 23. This section was the
first part of this highway (though the US 20-to-IN 2 section opened
before the IN 2-to-IN 23 section did) and was showing its age. While
the original features are slowly disappearing, there are still two
overpasses (the first one south of IN 2 and the one carrying IN 23) in
the original style. It was too dark to get photos, so attention Chris
Marysz and your digital camera!

-- In the "Striving to be a Wrong-way Multiplex" department: The
control cities for IN 23 at US 20/31 are South Bend and North Liberty.

-- At a couple of places on the St. Joseph Valley Parkway south of
South Bend there are BGSs with a "BYPASS" banner above the US 20
shield. This is of course mainline US 20 and is otherwise signed as
such.

-- As reported earlier, IN 331 has been moved to the east of its old
alignment. The South Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart inset of the official
Indiana state map (follow the link at the bottom of
http://members.xoom.com/musxf579/sbnelkrd.html ) portrays this
correctly with the exception that it omits the section across the St.
Joseph River between Lincolnway East (IN 933/old US 33) and Jefferson
Boulevard just north of the river. The signs for both exits on US 20
involving 331 have been retrofitted, the ones for the western 331
junction (the original 331 interchange) having a "SOUTH" plaque added
to the right of the 331 shield and the ones for Elm Road having a North
331 independent assembly added to the top slightly overlapping the top
of the sign. The new 331 is fully signed, including END assemblies at
the ends of the segments, though there are no trailblazers on roads
between the two segments. Between the segments I got to see US 20
assemblies still standing on old US 20 (McKinley Avenue). When we
turned from Douglas Road onto the northern 331 segment, we travelled on
a single northbound lane which became a four-lane divided highway a few
hundred feet later. I can only assume we had just travelled on a
future on-ramp.

-- The construction on the Indiana Toll Road around Exit 121 (IN 9)
features one of those "SPEED LIMIT 45"/"YOUR SPEED xx" electronic signs
and black-on-orange merge signs with symbols much smaller than usual.
This is where they are filling in overpasses over former railroad
alignments as Tom Ketchum reported a while back.

-- There must be a lot of unhappy locals in extreme northwestern
Indiana. Of the first dozen or so overpasses over the Toll Road west
from Ohio, nearly half are missing their decks due to rebuilds.

-- There are many, many assemblies left on the Ohio Turnpike which
feature the state name in the I-80 and I-90 shields.

-- The Turnpike between Indiana and Toledo is still really boring.

-- It's been like this since I can remember, but I've never mentioned
it: The signs for Turnpike Exit 13/2 only mention Ohio 15, omitting
Alternate US 20.

-- While there are still dual exit tabs on the BGSs on the Turnpike
(one for the new mileage-based system, one for the old sequential
system), it appears all supplemental exit signs and gore signs only use
the new exit numbers. In addition, the BGSs right at Exit 91 (Ohio 53)
only have the "EXIT 91" exit tab.

-- No visible progress at the future Exit 140 site (Ohio 58 near
Lorain).


--
Marc Fannin musx...@kent.edu

Chris Bessert

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Apr 24, 2000, 3:00:00 AM4/24/00
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Marc Fannin wrote:
>
> -- As reported earlier, IN 331 has been moved to the east of its old
> alignment. [...] When we

> turned from Douglas Road onto the northern 331 segment, we travelled on
> a single northbound lane which became a four-lane divided highway a few
> hundred feet later. I can only assume we had just travelled on a
> future on-ramp.

Very true. When I travelled that segment, I headed south from SR-23,
and you are, indeed, forced off the four-lane divided highway onto an
off-ramp to Douglas Rd. While I didn't see any bridgework over Douglas,
the grade of SR-331 leading south toward Douglas did seem to rise some,
indicating an overpass will be built here. After turning left onto
Douglas, then left back onto nbd SR-331, it becomes obvious these two
one-lane segments are future on- and off-ramps.

> -- The Turnpike between Indiana and Toledo is still really boring.

Northwestern Ohio, last I checked, was still really, really boring. ;^)

Later,
Chris

--
Chris Bessert
Bess...@aol.com
http://members.aol.com/Hwys

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