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A Road Trip to see the Pope

Yesterday, I took a trip from Albany, NY to New York City to see Pope Benedict XVI as his motorcade had a procession down Fifth Ave. in midtown Manhattan. While I am hardly a practicing Catholic anymore, I did decide it would be worth the trip to see the Pope, as it may be the only time I ever get to see any Pope in person. Here are some road highlights of the trip, as I spent some time driving in New York and New Jersey.

- The I-84 and I-87 interchange reconstruction in Newburgh is certainly showing some progress. The high speed toll barriers look to be completed, and there are a lot of flyovers being built in order to directly connect I-84 with I-87, rather than being subjected to exit onto NY 300 like the case has been for many years.

- Took the train (NJ Transit) from Suffern, NY to New York's Penn Station, since I refuse to be bothered with finding parking in Manhattan, and also because I enjoy taking the train. I saw some nice truss bridges along the route of the train, which was mostly in Bergen and Passaic Counties (via Waldwick, Ramsey, Paterson, Clifton, Passaic and Secaucus). I had to transfer trains in Secaucus, and the new station, named after former Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) is really nice. I had some time to wait between transferring trains, and noted that there was some New Jersey Turnpike signage about, since the train station is the destination for Exit 15X on the Turnpike.

- Spring was definitely in full bloom in New York City, and as I walked around midtown Manhattan, I took plenty of photos of Columbus Circle and some of the roads and bridges around Central Park.

- There is a 500-series multiplex in Waldwick, NJ. This was for Bergen CR 502 and Bergen CR 507. Upon further research (using Steve Alpert's, I discovered that the Franklin Turnpike portion of CR 507 is in part, an old alignment of NJ 17.

- There is a Clearview NJ 17 shield on an Exit 15 advance guide sign on the New York Thruway. The rest of the sign is in the standard Thruway font.

- There is some overpass construction on NY 17 at or around Exit 130A in Monroe. I believe this was the overpass for Orange CR 64.

- I did notice some signs that US 44/NY 55 west of NY 299 was closed. I've heard that it may be because of forest fires in the area, but I am not 100% sure. New York, to my understanding, is not in a drought stage, especially with bodies of water around the Adirondacks at a flood stage. But with the warm and sunny weather we've had the past week or so, it has made some of the trees dry.


mike said…
Many counties/regions in New York State are for some reason experiencing brush fires. Even long Island, this week, experienced some. Rensselaer County was under a burning ban this week too.

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