Highway Page Updates — 2011
- I made several changes to the Scenic and Historic Routes page:
- As the Great River Road, Lincoln Highway, and Loess Hills Scenic Byway are now considered state byways, I moved them to that section of the page.
- I added the Glacier Trail, Iowa River Greenbelt, and Northern Iowa River Greenbelt Scenic Drive to the Other Scenic Routes section. Information on the Iowa River Greenbelt and Northern Iowa River Greenbelt Scenic Drives was obtained from pamphlets available at the Iowa Welcome Center in Dows, with help from the DOT's county maps. In addition, I added a mention of the separate 1835 Dragoon Trail in Oskaloosa, along with a marker, under the main Dragoon Trail listing.
- Since each of the state scenic byways has its own markers now, I added the marker images that I have available. I also updated most of the other trail marker images with newer and better-quality versions. The images for the Delaware Crossing and River Bluffs Scenic Byways, as well as the Glacier Trail, were provided by Jeff Morrison. I currently do not have photos of the Driftless Area Scenic Byway, the Old O'Brien Glacial Trail, or the new Loess Hills Scenic Byway markers, but plan to add them once I get them.
- I added the route of the Lincoln Highway, although I have yet to field-check the exact route west of Ogden. (Please let me know if any additions or corrections need to be made.) I also picked up a pamphlet on the Loess Hills Scenic Byway at the Dows Welcome Center and updated that route, adding each of the 16 loops that route has.
- After checking out the US 61 Fort Madison bypass last weekend, I uploaded a new exit list for it.
- I also added a terminus photo link for Business US 34 in Fairfield.
- After two weather-related delays in the past month, the US 61 bypass of Fort Madison opened today. The previous US 61 alignment is becoming Business US 61, while IA 2 remains as-is. Highway listings have been updated; an exit list will be added once I am able to field-check the area.
- Exit list updates:
- Brooklyn (which is not on US 63) has been replaced by Montezuma (which is on US 63) on US 30 exit 202.
- New signs have been placed on eastbound I-80 exits 244 and 246 in Iowa City as part of the ongoing project to widen that stretch of I-80 to six lanes. While the old signs for exits 242 through 246 are still up heading west, the exit list has been updated under the assumption that identical signage will be placed on westbound I-80 once reconstruction of the westbound lanes is finished.
November 6: Exit list updates:
- Nick Wilwert reported that signage along I-80 and I-280 has changed to reflect the routing of US 61 around Davenport.
- According to this article in the Toledo Chronicle, the speed limit on US 30 has been reduced from 65 to 55 MPH near the Meskwaki Casino (around mile markers 198-200).
- Several readers have pointed out that US 61 has been re-routed along I-80 and I-280 in Davenport. The previous alignment is now signed as Business US 61 — and, according to the DOT's city map of Davenport, it is designated as the unsigned IA 461. Nick Wilwert first spotted Business US 61 markers on September 15, and I confirmed the reroute during a trip to the area on October 1 and 2.
- The aforementioned highway listings and the Highways of Davenport and Bettendorf page have both been updated. On the latter page, I have replaced the 2006 map with a map for 2000 and a future-dated map for 2012 (which assumes no further changes to local highways between now and January 1).
- The sign changes have only occurred on the former US 61/current Business US 61 route itself as of October 2, as all directional banners have changed to "BUSINESS" banners. Signs on intersecting highways, including the big green signs on I-80 and I-280, have not changed. Nonetheless, I have updated the I-80 east, I-280, and US 61 exit lists, noting where the routing of US 61 changes in the Notes column until I can confirm that the signs along I-80 and I-280 have changed.
- Photos from this trip are now available in this Flickr photo gallery. I have also posted photos from my late July trip through central and southeast Iowa.
- Also on the subject of historical highways in Davenport, according to information on Dale Sanderson's US 150 page provided by Miles Rich, US 150 was signed all the way through the foot of the Centennial Bridge and transitioned into IA 150 before intersecting US 61. This occurred until IA 150 was truncated in the Great Renumbering of 1969.
- Other exit list updates:
- Austin Draude first pointed out that "Historic Downtown Ames" is now signed on I-35 Exit #113.
- Mark Odor has mentioned that Iowa Falls, Alden, and Ellsworth Community College are now signed at I-35 Exit #147, while CasinOmaha has reopened and the casino is now signed at I-29 Exit #112.
August 29: Some quick exit list updates:
- Upper Iowa University is no longer signed at exits 3 or 4 on I-235.
- Michael Gillson has reported that the former AEGON Financial Park at US 30 exit 254 in Cedar Rapids is now the Transamerica Financial Park, while the four-way stop at US 151/IA 13 at Mount Vernon Road has been replaced with traffic signals.
- Jeff Morrison reported that the US 30 expressway segment between the Meskwaki Casino and US 63 in Toledo opened to four lanes today. The highway and exit listings have been updated.
- The Convention Center in Fairfield is now signed at US 34 exit 210 eastbound and 214 westbound, while the Heritage Center in Burlington is now signed at Exit 262B.
- The Flickr page now has more than 1,000 photos, as the Dubuque photo gallery has moved there after a recent trip to the area.
- Jeff Morrison is moving his pages to a new domain, iowahighwayends.net. I have updated all links from the site, including the highway listings, to point to the new site. (Please be advised that there may be some broken images as he moves everything over to the new site.)
- According to the Iowa DOT's map of Fairfield, the segment of IA 904 in the city limits is now under local control. The two segments outside of Fairfield remain under state control for now.
- I have also made some minor updates to the Decommissioning Watch page to reflect the changes to IA 107 and 296 that were noted in the previous round of updates.
- For the first time in over a decade, I have replaced the Iowa welcome sign photo with a newer image. It's from the same location as before, but it's a better-quality image taken from a digital camera with no snow.
- IA 296 is finally gone, according to the latest Iowa DOT map of Norwalk. Also, the last two segments of IA 107 through Meservey and Thornton are now under local control as the Transportation Commission approved the transfer of jurisdiction of each segment in two separate meetings in 2010.
- The US 30 expressway segment between State Center and IA 330 opened July 7, according to this DOT press release. The highway and exit listings have been updated.
- According to the 2012-2016 transportation plan, which was approved on June 15:
- IA 196 will be extended northward to the relocated US 20 when that segment opens. Reconstruction of County Road N14, which will become IA 196, between the old and new US 20 is programmed for fiscal 2012. Also, paving of the segment of US 20 between US 71 and N14 has been moved up to the 2012 fiscal year, but according to this story in the Fort Dodge Messenger, that segment is still scheduled to open in 2013 while the segment between N14 and IA 4 is still scheduled to open in 2012.
- Widening of the westbound segment of I-235 between 63rd and 73rd Streets in Windsor Heights — which still gets congested during the afternoon rush hour even after reconstruction — is programmed for the 2016 fiscal year.
- Reconstruction of I-74 in the Quad Cities area is expected to begin in the 2016 fiscal year.
- Although the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit on June 2 to block construction, right-of-way acquisition for part of the IA 100 extension in Cedar Rapids has been programmed for the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years.
- Widening of US 61 in northern Louisa County and right-of-way acquisition for a new expressway segment of US 30 between IA 21 and US 218 have been delayed by one year.
- Construction of a new interchange at US 218/IA 27 and County Road C50 in Janesville will begin this year and is programmed for completion by the end of 2012. More information on how this interchange will be constructed can be found on the DOT's project-related public meetings page, as a public meeting is scheduled for July 13.
- Other exit list updates:
- Jeff Morrison has reported that Ellsworth Community College is no longer signed at I-35 exit 144, while Matt Reisdorfer has reported that Mason City is now signed at I-35 exit 197.
- The E.B. Lyons Center is now signed along with the Mines of Spain on US 61/151 at US 52 in Dubuque.
June 20: Some quick exit list updates:
- Grand View College is now Grand View University, and signs at I-235 exit 12 have been updated to reflect this.
- A new interchange at I-35 at NE 36th Street in Ankeny is under construction. The interchange, which will likely be Exit 94 since it is exactly halfway between exits 92 and 96, is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2012. Also, the weigh station on northbound I-35 south of Ames has closed.
- While in the Boone and Ames areas last Memorial Day, I spotted new signs marking the Lincoln Highway as a state heritage byway. I placed an example of this sign on the Scenic & Historic Routes page, and added some examples to the Flickr page. Overall, I added six photos to the Lincoln Highway page and seven to the Ames page.
- Illinois has created a new route number, IL 110, to provide a single number for its share of the Chicago-Kansas City corridor (similar to what Iowa has done with IA 27 for the Avenue of the Saints). Since IL 110 has no directional markers they have been omitted from the exit listings, and since it is not posted on any freeway signs any changes to the route are noted in the far right column. The exit lists for I-80 east, I-88, I-74, and US 34 in Illinois have been updated. (I also updated the I-88 list after spotted some changes on the way to the Chicago area last week.)
- Photo Gallery updates:
- After a trip to Council Bluffs two weekends ago, I have moved the Council Bluffs photo gallery to Flickr. I have also moved the Central, Eastern, and Western Iowa Odds & Ends pages there. (Some photos have not made the move since they are from places that I have not visited within the last five years.) The Flickr site now has a total of 950 photos.
- I have created a new page for photos that were contributed by users of this site. This page is sorted by county. As I move the remaining photo gallery sections to Flickr in the following months, I will move any contributed photos that I have not taken newer photos of to the Contributions section.
- Exit list updates:
- Two updates to US 65 east of Des Moines: Easter Lake is now signed at Exit 73 (first spotted by Jeff Morrison) while Yellow Banks Park is now signed at Exit 77.
- Atlantic has replaced Villisca on signs for eastbound I-80 exit 60 (US 71), but the eastbound signs still omit US 6.
- Most of the road work to reconstruct the I-480/US 75 interchange in Omaha has been finished, so I removed the construction note.
- The 2011 Iowa transportation map is now available online. One noteworthy change on the Quad Cities map has US 61 following I-80 and I-280 with the existing alignment becoming Business US 61. This alignment was approved by AASHTO on May 20, 2010, but signs have not changed when I was in the area on April 2 so I added this as a planned business route. Please let me know if you spot any sign changes in the area. While at it I also added the planned Business US 61 in Fort Madison, which is pending approval by AASHTO at their Special Committee on Route Numbering meeting in Las Vegas on May 2 for designation once the bypass opens later this year. I also reordered all business routes on US highway pages so they are listed from north to south or west to east where appropriate.
- Exit list updates:
- New signs have been put up on eastbound I-80 at Exit 142 in Altoona. (The westbound signs will presumably be replaced once reconstruction of this interchange is completed.)
- Dan Drackley has informed me that Werner Park is now signed at I-80 at Exit 439 near Omaha.
March 20: I have moved the Mason City/Clear Lake photo gallery to Flickr, where I have also posted photos from two road trips I've taken: south-central Iowa (Warren, Clarke, Lucas, and Marion counties) on February 19 and north-central Iowa (mostly Mason City/Clear Lake) on March 12-13. The Flickr page now has 890 photos.
February 13: Some exit list updates:
- The Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt is now signed at I-80 exit 143.
- Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids is now Mount Mercy University, and signage on I-380 at Exit 22 has been updated (although only the northbound sign had changed as of February 6).
- The Science Station, whose downtown location has been closed since the flood of 2008, has been "greened out" from signs along I-380 at exits 19A and 20A.
January 22: The Waterloo/Cedar Falls photo gallery has moved to Flickr, which now has 839 photos.
January 10: I was in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls last weekend and have some exit list updates:
- Grundy County Lake is now signed at US 20 exit 215.
- TechWorks is now signed at US 218 exit 181 in Waterloo.
- I also updated these two lists plus the US 20 east and Avenue of the Saints north lists to show that IA 27 is now signed before IA 58, rather than after it.
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© 2011 by Jason Hancock