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The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …
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The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

Monterey Bay Sunset Drive

Given that I had to rush over Pacheco Pass in the early morning to get to the Monterey Peninsula it left me with some free time to kill.  Rather than go to my hotel room I decided to take a sunset drive around the Peninsula along Monterey Bay to California State Route 68.  I had no real agenda in mind other than to kill some time and have some fun after the crappy weather earlier in the morning.



I started the drive heading west on Del Monte Avenue and passed by Fisherman's Wharf.






I turned on Lighthouse Avenue to take the tunnel towards Foam Street and over to Cannery Row.








Cannery Row was surprisingly quiet in heading towards sundown.  It probably was helped by the fact it was a late Friday afternoon and the crowds would likely roll in the next morning.










I turned on Ocean View Boulevard which enters Pacific Grove and rounds the tip of the Monterey Peninsula.  There was plenty of scenic views of Monterey Bay before I hit the western tip of the Peninsula just in time for sun down.





Fort Ord 2nd Avenue abandoned Barracks

Last month when I was exploring the administrative portion of the former Fort Ord I missed an entire abandoned barracks annex along 2nd Avenue from Imjim Parkway south to Lightfighter Avenue.  Surprisingly the area lies out of the corporate limit for the city of Seaside and literally could be driven up to with no obstructions in many instances.  I mainly explored the barracks buildings along 13th Street which have been abandoned since at least 1994.






Apparently some of the barracks buildings are occupied by some sort of construction academy and several have been restored.  The weird to me is that somehow vandals really haven't gotten to many of the buildings despite the open access.




Literally it is just rows of abandoned barracks along 13th Street overlooking a modern shopping center.






The asphalt and surfaces aren't so well maintained in some areas.  You'd think you might be able to drive down this street until you realize that you can't.





I'm fairly certain this is …

California State Route 156

Over the past couple years I've taken about every single conceivable note worthy road in and out of the California Coast as far south as San Luis Obispo north to Point Reyes.  Usually I try to avoid main roads due to the fact that I'm generally not in a rush and I routes like freeways to be boring to drive.  Last Friday it just so happened that I needed to be out on the Monterey Peninsula in a rush and it had rained about an inch the night prior.  So with those factors in mind I decided on the conventional way to the Monterey Peninsula from the Central Valley via California State Route 156.  So after an early morning jaunt through a soggy San Joaquin Valley and a westerly windy climb over Pacheco Pass on CA 152 I made my way to the start of CA 156.






CA 156 is a 25 mile route from CA 152 in Santa Clara County west to CA 1 near the mouth of the Salinas River in Castroville in Monterey County.  All of modern CA 156 was part of Legislative Route Number 22.  Almost every source that…