Highway Page Updates — 2012
- IA 330 has been extended as a second number along US 65 to end at I-80 in Altoona, in order to give a continuous number to the diagonal expressway between the Des Moines area and Marshalltown. Updated signs were first spotted along I-80 just before Thanksgiving, but have not been placed along the highway itself until earlier this month (even though the south "END" sign has yet to move from its old spot as of last night). I have updated the IA 330 and US 65 listings, the table of active highways, and the I-80 central exit list at Exit 142.
- Photos of the extended IA 330 have been posted on the Flickr page, along with other photos from the past month. As of today, the Flickr page contains 1,365 photos from in and around Iowa.
- Exit list updates from Thanksgiving-weekend travels:
- After driving the new US 20 today, I did some rearranging to the US 20 exit lists. US 20 west now covers the segment from US 71 to I-35, and a new US 20 central page now covers the segment from I-35 to the eastern split with I-380. US 20 east was truncated a bit to cover the segment from the eastern split with I-380 to Dubuque. I also did some rearranging of the US and state highway exit list links on the main page; for sorting purposes, I considered "northwest and north-central Iowa" anything along and north of US 20, and along and west of US 63.
- As construction of the County Road C50 interchange has finished, the 55 MPH speed zone on US 218/IA 27 near Janesville is gone now.
- Signage at US 61 exit 124, for County Road F55, now specifies the Davenport Airport instead of listing just "Airport", dropping unincorporated Mount Joy from the sign in the process.
- I also added the Purple Heart Highway name to the heading of the US 65/IA 5 exit list.
- Also, I have updated the Lincoln Highway Scenic Byway listing to show its street routes through Grand Junction and Beaver.
- Only 44 miles to go. While the ribbon cutting ceremony will be held tomorrow in Early (see 4lane20.com for details), a 26-mile expressway segment of US 20 opened yesterday between US 71 and IA 4. IA 196 was also extended northward to intersect US 20 at a new interchange northeast of Sac City, while US 20's multiplexes with US 71 and IA 4 were eliminated. Exit lists will be updated once I verify how the two new interchanges are signed.
- Jeff Morrison did some newspaper research recently and found some opening dates:
- The relocated US 18 between Garner and Clear Lake opened October 25, 1952. (Source: Garner Leader and Signal)
- The relocated IA 3 around Shell Rock opened November 18, 1967. (Shell Rock News and Bremer County Independent)
- Per Dan Drackley, US 275 and NE 92 (continuation of IA 92) are together for close to 20 miles in Nebraska instead of 10.
- Exit list updates:
- The 36th Street exit on I-35 in Ankeny, exit 94, opened today.
- Colo has replaced Zearing as a secondary destination at US 30 exit 164.
November 3: I've done some rearranging of the exit lists by giving each list its own page, splitting up several pages that had multiple lists on the same page. All internal links on the highway and exit listings have been updated, while some of the old pages that had multiple lists are now placeholder pages with links to the new pages.
October 21: More exit list updates:
- As confirmed by the Iowa DOT's traffic cameras, I-80 is now open to six lanes of traffic through Iowa City. Also, per this article in the Sioux City Journal, part of I-29 recently opened to six lanes north of Hamilton Boulevard in Sioux City.
- Dan Drackley has informed me that the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Ralston Arena are now signed at I-80 Nebraska exit 449.
- The new interchange of the Avenue of the Saints at County Road C50 in Janesville opened October 12. I verified the exit number of 195 during a short trip to the area yesterday. (Speed limits have not changed yet, but please let me know if they do once construction has finished.)
- On the same trip, I noticed that two expressway segments of US 63 opened within the past month: one from IA 188 and County Road C33, and the other for about one mile north of the new interchange with IA 3. Per this Iowa DOT press release, both segments opened in mid-September. According to this press release, the segment between the two was scheduled to open today, completing the four-lane link between Waterloo and New Hampton.
September 30: I have caught up with my photo backlog and migrated all remaining galleries of photos that I have taken to Flickr, which now has over 1,300 photos.
- During a recent trip to northeast Iowa, I confirmed that IA 76 is now signed along Business US 18 through Marquette and McGregor.
- I also got a photo of the new Driftless Area Scenic Byway marker on the same trip. While at it I added distances to all other scenic byways and historic routes that didn't already have them, after measuring each route on Google Maps.
- I changed the Photo Gallery link on the Highways of Des Moines page to the Contributed Photos page rather than Flickr, after noticing that there are no photos of the old signs on Flickr at the I-35/80/235 West Mixmaster interchange since they (1) were contributed by other photographers, and (2) have all been replaced in recent years.
- The southbound I-35 rest area north of Ankeny closed on August 20.
- Business IA 5 exists in Pleasantville after all. Two IA 5 markers with "BUSINESS" banners — one in each direction — were spotted along the route on a recent road trip. All other Business IA 5 signs are street signs, and there are no shields along the IA 5 bypass.
- Historic US 6 signs have now been placed along County Road F58 between Wilton and I-280, after a dedication ceremony in Wilton on June 14. (Links to media coverage can be found on the Iowa Route 6 Touring Association's page.) The Association plans to mark other bypassed US 6 segments with Historic US 6 signage in the future.
- The I-35 alignment shift to serve Mason City was not the only shift to its originally proposed route. Per an e-mail from Curtis Dean, I-35 between Ames and Story City was moved slightly eastward to accommodate the proposed Ames Reservoir, which was never built. The "Prairie Area" on southbound I-35 was originally built as a scenic overlook for the proposed lake. In addition, I added a note that I-80 west of Des Moines was proposed to run closer to the Raccoon River before it was moved further north in 1963.
- Exit list updates:
- Springdale is now on a secondary sign at I-80 exit 259, and Rochester is now on a secondary sign at I-80 exit 265.
- Tourist/visitor centers are now signed at I-80 exit 284 and US 34 exit 199.
- The Ottumwa Job Corps Center is now signed as a secondary destination at US 63/IA 163 exit 42 in Ottumwa.
- The Amtrak Terminal in Burlington is now signed at US 34 exit 263.
- Per Jeff Morrison, Highland Acres Road and Oaks Avenue are now signed at eastbound US 30 exit 181 in addition to westbound exit 182.
- Per Dan Drackley, Lauritzen Gardens has replaced the defunct Rosenblatt Stadium at I-80 exit 454 in Omaha, with Museums and Entertainment District listed as secondary destinations at that exit.
June 27: Updates from the new five-year plan that was approved by the Iowa Transportation Commission on June 12:
- Reconstruction of I-29 and I-80 in Council Bluffs is expected to continue beyond 2017.
- Widening of I-35 in West Des Moines is programmed for completion in 2014.
- While construction of a new I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities has been delayed to coordinate funding schedules with the Illinois DOT, grading and paving for the new I-74 through Davenport and Bettendorf is scheduled to begin in 2015.
- A new auxiliary lane for I-235 between 63rd and 73rd Streets in Windsor Heights is scheduled to be added in 2013.
- US 20 through Correctionville is scheduled to be reconstructed in 2015, while paving of a new expressway segment from the current east end of the four-lane segment near Moville to Correctionville is programmed for paving in 2016.
- Grading for the US 30 bypass of Mount Vernon and Lisbon, which has been off the five-year plan since 2001, is now programmed for 2017. Also, grading for a new four-lane segment between IA 21 and the US 218 split is now programmed for 2016.
- A replacement for the Savanna-Sabula Bridge (US 52/IA 64) is programmed for construction in 2016.
- Paving for a new four-lane US 61 segment in Louisa County is scheduled for 2017.
- Paving of the extended IA 100 between Covington Road (old IA 94) and Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids is now programmed for 2016, with the new bridge across the Cedar River programmed for construction in 2014. Grading of the segment between US 30 and Covington Road is also programmed for the 2016 fiscal year.
- Also, due to the flood of 2011, the scheduled completion date for the new US 34 bridge across the Missouri River has been delayed to 2014 according to this story from the May 4 Omaha World-Herald.
- The Sioux City photo gallery has moved to Flickr, and previously contributed photos from Woodbury County have moved to the Contributed Photos page.
- Exit list updates:
- On the way to Minneapolis for Memorial Day weekend, I spotted that the former weigh station on northbound I-35 south of Ames has been converted to a parking-only rest area.
- As the Qwest Center Omaha has been renamed the CenturyLink Center due to last year's Qwest-CenturyLink merger, and the TD Ameritrade Ballpark has opened in downtown Omaha to host the College World Series, Dan Drackley reports that all references to the Qwest Center along I-480 and US 75 have been changed to "Event Center-Ballpark".
- I added a link from the US 61 page to the newly-updated terminus photo page for the unsigned Business US 61 in Maquoketa.
- Exit list updates:
- I updated the I-29 north exit list, namely exits 95 and 141, after a trip to Sioux City earlier this month. (Photos from that trip will be uploaded to Flickr soon.)
- On a trip to Peoria, IL, last week, I found out that the Greater Peoria Regional Airport is now the Peoria International Airport. I've updated the I-74 and I-474 lists to note this.
- The northbound rest area on I-35 north of Ankeny will close permanently tomorrow because of construction of the new interchange at NE 36th Street. According to the Des Moines Register, the southbound rest area is scheduled to close in August.
- After uploading photos from a trip to north-central Iowa last week, I have added a new Photo Gallery set for the Charles City area on Flickr since I now have more than ten photos from Floyd County. While doing this I also found that I have 17 photos from Poweshiek County, so I gave the Grinnell area its own set as well. I also added two sets for the Avenue of the Saints to Flickr, one for the north segment from Clear Lake to Cedar Falls, and one for the south segment from Riverside to Wayland, MO.
- I also added photos to the Contributed photos page, one from Michael Ehret and four from Jeff Morrison.
- Exit list updates:
- A tourist information center has opened in Waterloo and is signed at US 218 exit 180.
- Big Woods Lake Park in Cedar Falls is now signed along US 218/IA 27 exit 189, while the tourist information center at Exit 220 is now signed as a Welcome Center.
- Per Dan Drackley, the speed limit along US 75 in Sarpy County, NE, has been raised from 60 to 65 MPH. I also added a note to the F Street exit listing stating that there is no direct access from US 75 south; the only ramps to F Street are on the ramps from I-80.
- If you have not been to the Photo Gallery on Flickr lately, I now have 1,151 photos on that page after catching up with my photo backlog in February.
- Per Jeff Morrison and the DOT's Bremer County map, IA 463 in northern Bremer County is no more.
- The IMAX name has been removed from signs for the Putnam Museum in Davenport, so I updated the I-80 east (Exit 292), I-74 (Exit 3), and I-280 (Exit 4) lists. I also updated Exit 306 on the I-80 list as the welcome center in Le Claire closed at the end of last year.
- Jeff Morrison pointed out a few historic alignment changes:
- IA 13 was realigned in Manchester in 1971, around the time the first US 20 freeway segment was completed.
- IA 287 (I) ended in Farnhamville, while IA 175 originally went straight into Gowrie before it was realigned a mile south of its previous alignment between there and Harcourt in 1941.
- IA 344 (I) did not end in Conway, but at IA 319 west of there.
- I got a photo of the new Loess Hills Scenic Byway sign during a trip to southwest Iowa two weeks ago (more photos from that trip will be posted to Flickr later), while Mike Ehret provided a photo of the Glacial Trail Scenic Byway sign, leaving the Driftless Area Scenic Byway in Allamakee County as the only new Scenic Byway sign that I currently do not have a photo of.
- Exit list updates:
- On all lists, I adjusted the cell heights for most interchanges, plus rest areas and weigh stations, in an attempt to make the lists easier to read by adding more green space so the listings don't look cramped together. (River crossings, county lines, and other non-exits were left the same.)
- In a trip to southwest Iowa that also covered southeast Nebraska, I extended the US 77 in Lincoln list to the interchange with NE 33/Spur 55F near Roca, and updated the I-80 Nebraska, I-29 south, and I-80 western Iowa lists.
- New year, new shields for the exit lists! Using shield blanks from Shields Up!, the Roadgeek 2005 series of fonts that resemble the actual FHWA fonts, and Corel PaintShop Pro, I have replaced all of the shield images on the exit lists.
- As part of a general cleanup of the exit lists, I expanded the About page to list examples of signage discrepancies, exits in only one directions, and criteria for inclusion of items that are in parentheses. Also, decommissioned highways are no longer listed on the exit lists, since 8½ years have passed since the 2003 Iowa decommissionings.
- On the Scenic and Historic Routes page, I added anchor links to each route and updated information on the Iowa River Greenbelt and Grant Wood Scenic Byway.
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© 2012 by Jason Hancock