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A skate at the Winter Classic Community Rink

In what has become a Christmas tradition for Maggie and I, we've gone outdoor skating in Pittsburgh.  Last year, we skated at the public rink in PPG Plaza.  But this year was different, and on a Christmas Eve that is typical of a Pittsburgh winter gray, overcast, and just cold enough to support a fresh layer of snow in the morning, we had a memorable experience at the 2011 Winter Classic Community Rink.  The rink, which was constructed as part of the festivities for the 2011 Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, is located just outside of Heinz Field.

In the time span of five days, the parking lot that sits between Stage AE and Heinz Field was transformed into a regulation ice rink where public skating, youth, high school, and college hockey games will take place.  Sure it's not a Rockfeller Center, but you really can't beat skating outside with an entire city skyline as a backdrop!



If you follow this blog or know me, you know that I am a…

Western Tennessee/Kentucky Roadtrip

Earlier this month, I took a trip along the various backroads of Western Tennessee and Kentucky with Billy Riddle.

The loop route went as follows: US 70, TN 47, TN 49, TN 147, TN 69A, US 641, TN 54, TN 22, US 51, Purchase Parkway, US 45, KY 121, KY 80/(US 68) , and I-24 into Nashville.

For the entire flickr photo set - head here.

Our first stop was a walk around Billy's hometown of Kingston Springs, Tennessee.  The small Cheatham county town along the Harpeth River has slowly become one of Nashville's more popular bedroom communities.

Kingston Springs' downtown is a mix of small cafes, restaurants, even a bar or two...



...with traditional Southern small town features.



There are also some older items in town that caught my eye.  Like this old fire call box - only a few blocks from the fire station.



The former train depot in town sits perpendicular to the train tracks.  I wonder if it had been moved.  It appears that it has been in various stages of restoration and uses.



Ju…

Some Massachusetts Construction Photos

Since I've moved here to Mass. from NC, things are less exciting on the highway construction front. No one is building new interstates or toll roads, for better or worse. Most of the projects have to do with reconstruction of bridges and adding lanes to existing highways. Of the latter, the major project closest to me is the adding of an additional lane along 'Route 128' from I-93 Exit 4, MA 24 in Randolph north to I-95 Exit 20, MA 9 in Wellesley. The project began several years ago with the replacing and/or widening of bridges to cross 8-lanes of traffic, instead of 6. After bridges in a certain area were replaced, work began on widening the highway and placing new signage, some vastly improved over what previously existed. Bridge work and widening has largely concluded between the end of I-93 to US 1 in Dedham. Bridge work also has been completed along I-93 between exits 4 and 2 and work on widening by replacing the grass median by concrete barriers is continuing. When …

Photos from the new High Point section of I-74

Yesterday, I hit the road to check out the newly opened section of I-74 in High Point.

Route: NC 98, US 70, I-85, I-40, NC 66, US 311/I-74, NC 62, NC 22, NC 902, Pittsboro-Moncure Rd., US 1, I-40, I-440, US 64/264 home.

The entire roadtrip is on flickr - 93 photos in total - and can be accessed here.

The newest segment of Interstate 74 begins at the Main Street Interchange (Exit 65).  This was where Business US 311 split off into downtown High Point, but it's been recently decommissioned.



As you can see I-74 is shown on the overhead.  There is not a 'BEGIN' I-74 shield - so I-74 East just comes out from out of nowhere.

The I-74 East shield is also on an overhead at the next exit for Johnson St.



However, at this time there are not any I-74 shields on the ground or at the interchange ramps until Exit 71B - Business I-85.  If you are headed Eastbound, the first I-74 East shield stands after the I-85 interchange (Exit 75).



At Cedar Square Road, one of I-74 East's four '…