Skip to main content

Fall 2009 DC Roadmeet

Last weekend, Adam Froehlig hosted the first Washington DC roadmeet. So I decided to head up and attend the meet and visit family at the same time.

For the entire meet set - head here.

There's a lot going on in the Metro DC area - and the first part of the meet took a look at the recently completed Woodrow Wilson Bridge. We took a brief walk across the newly opened pedestrian and bikeway. The views of the traffic and upstream on the Potomac are impressive.

IMG_2044

The beginning of the walkway on the Alexandria, VA side.

IMG_2057

The US Capitol viewed from the bridge.

IMG_2059

Washington Monument

IMG_2058

Sailboats were out

IMG_2060

A look at the inner loop's newly opened local lanes.

We did a driving tour of the Springfield (I-95/I-395/I-495) Interchange construction's final phase - HOV lane connections and of the construction of the missing piece of the Fairfax County Parkway. I was driving - and I didn't take any photos of that.

Next, was a driving tour of the 495 HOT (High Occupancy Toll) construction with a stop along a local rail trail. The rail trail gave a great look at the construction in and around the Beltway's interchange with I-66.

IMG_2088

Construction on the Outer Loop.

IMG_2091

Inner Loop construction.

Next, we headed into DC. One of the stops was a sign stop to see maybe one of the oldest freeway signs in DC. A pair of button copy overheads for E Street and I-66.

E Street and I-66 West in Button Copy

The biggest question was - what's behind the plywood covered signs?

The beginning of I-66 West

After this stop, we weaved our way through DC towards Barney Circle and the incomplete freeway connections there. Unfortunately, it was getting quite dark, and the photo opportunities were fleeting. Along the way, we passed by the Vietnam, World War II, Lincoln and Washington Monuments along the way. This trip was my first time into DC since 1997 (and that was for a RMC football game at Georgetown), and I am itching to go back. I haven't really had the chance to see the monuments and all of the history - and would love to really explore the city once again.

Finally, a tip of the cap to Adam Froehlig. He did a wonderful job in planning the meet ahead of time. His knowledge of DC and the traffic was extremely helpful in a three car caravan. The maps printed for turn by turn navigation allowed the entire crew of 14 attendees to take the circuitous route without incident or getting lost.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert

One of the more intriguing mysteries of the early US Route System in California is where the original south terminus of US Route 91 was intended to be located in the Mojave Desert.  This blog is a little different than my usual behind the wheel fare and explores why US Route 91 ultimately ended at US Route 66 in Daggett instead of Bannock. What ultimately became the US Route System was first discussed during the American Association of State Highway Officials ("AASHO") during their annual 1924 meeting.  Ultimately the AASHO recommended to the Department of Agriculture to work with the States to develop a system of Interstate Highways to replace the many Auto Trails in use.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways was ultimately commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and it's branch agency the Bureau of Public Roads in March of 1925.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways first met in April of 1925 and decided on the new interstate road network would be known a

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395. The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s. Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog? 

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use.