Skip to main content

Vermont Road Trip Trip, Day 2

Prologue
Before I start with Day 2, thought I should wrap up, and provide explanation why the Day 1 post stopped after getting to New Hampshire. After crossing into Vermont, I decided to get some exercise by checking out the Quechee Gorge State Park off of US 4 (Exit 1 off of I-89). This is when the fun started. First, it decided, when I was halfway to the Gorge, to start raining. I decided to return quickly back to the car, and in doing so, unbeknownst to me, dropped my wallet on the Gorge Trail. I then drove through often deluging rain (and speeds less than 30 mph) the 50 miles north on I-89 to my hotel. When I finally got there around 4PM and was asked for my credit card for reservation confirmation, it was then I found out I had no wallet, so no cash, cards, license, etc. Since my only stop was at Quechee, I headed back down there, fortunately, for the drive, the rain had stopped. However, the Visitors Center was closed and after I searched the trail a couple times, I went over to the campground and was told I would have to wait until 9AM the next day to see if tey had my wallet. I left my name and number in case someone had found the wallet and then had to find some money to fill the gas tank. Once that was arranged, I had to convince the hotel to accept my reservation, even with no credit card or ID. Fortunately, I didn't lose the new smart phone and finally cleared up that issue and returned to Barre about 10PM, having to prepare for the interview next day and wondering if I my wallet had been found.

Day 2
A. Good Morning, After All
Got a call at 9:30 the next morning that some very honest and honorable person, didn't give their name, had found my wallet and had given it to one of the staff people at the park visitors the previous afternoon. I thus cut my interview preparations off and headed south on I-89 again. This time it was sunny. I retrieved my wallet, it was a little damp, but everything in it was still there. I gave the park donation box a generous amount and proceeded back north, having only 2 hours before the interview. I did what more preparation I could in the VTrans headquarters parking lot, which is not in central Montpelier, but at an office park a 1/2 mile off of I-89. I ended up talking to the Records Manager and two of his assistants for about 1 1/2 hours. It went pretty well, I thought. Despite at first looking like an interrogation, there were no bright lights shown in my eyes and I was able to tell them my interest in transportation and information management and that a group of us had visited the Bennington Bypass a while back. I may hear back this week.

B. Back to the Road Trip through Vermont
I decided to do some touristy things on the way back, since I didn't have time the previous day. I decided to head further up I-89 a couple exits to VT 100 in Waterbury:
The rumors that Vermont had been bitten by the Clearview font bug are true. Apparently it started when these signs were installed around 2010. Here's the final advance sign for the VT 100 exit:
Clearview is not only on the advance signs, but on the gore signs as well!--
That number just doesn't look quite right. I took a quick trip east for a couple miles then turned around:
This a view from VT 100 a mile east of Waterbury. Why turn around? To visit Ben & Jerry's, of course, to better fit into this blog, I provide you with the tour center entry sign:
And a replica of the original CowMobile (the original burned up in Cleveland (your joke here) on its inaugural trip in 1976):
After a tour (and some free and not-so-free ice cream) it was back to the road. Since I'd seen I-89 South often enough in the previous 24 hours, I decided to head back via US 302 East to I-91 South. Here is a view from I-89 South before I turned off at Exit 7:
Here's more examples of Clearview signage at the above mentioned exit:
US 302 goes through downtown Barre, so I got to see where the Dunkin' Donuts was in case I end up living in the area (got to scout out the essentials first, right?) It became more scenic after a few miles. Here's one of the many good views (and there was also a view of a rolled over vehicle to look at) from US 302:
I had never driven on I-91 in Vermont, other than to get to VT 9 for the Bennington Meet. Some nice views from that highway, and less traffic than was on I-89. There was something missing from the signs though:
Apparently these signs were put in around 2008, before Clearview became standard on Vermont signage. Here's another example:
There were some more scenic views:
Another interesting thing about Vermont is the constant pairing of interstate route shields with Eisenhower Interstate System signs, like this while driving through a rock cut:
Most states just put up a few of them, typically by themselves.

C. Back into New Hampshire
Picked up I-89 from I-91 and stopped (again) in Lebanon for food (the 'lunch' of ice cream was wearing off). I went to Lebanon the day before to get money wired to me via Western Union. It took so long that I spent an hour or so there before getting some funds and then partaking in one of their many fast food places (Wendy's) and filling the car. Same stop, different place this evening (Burger King), then, not coincidentally, got some gas, for the car. The rest of the photos are some of the more interesting signs seen on the way back home. Approaching the end of I-89 in Concord, can you guess which of the signs is new:
There were several Variable Message Signs up warning of traffic congestion on I-93 due to the upcoming weekend's events at the NH Motor Speedway (thought that was I-93?) Speaking of signage on:
Here's another one of those new Up Arrow signs, such as on the I-95 NH Turnpike near Portsmouth. In case you need to see the next one, 1/2 mile later, here it is:
As you can see, there's a repaving project going on along this portion of the Everett Turnpike. I decided to stay on the Turnpike (I-293) instead of I-93, because I had yet to drive the entire stretch of US 3 in MA since it has been widened. Before we get out of NH though, I always liked these NH signs, though they appear to be a little too small on a freeway:
They should be the size of similar ones done in NC, almost 50% bigger. Speaking of bigger signs:
Where's the Yellow Toll Banner on the Everett Turnpike sign? Why is it 'To NH 101'? when that route shares the same highway as the interstate? The other curious aspect of my trip was finding out that the exit numbers on the Everett Turnpike south of I-293 almost all match their mileposts, meaning little expense in this case of converting to mile-based exit system, if and when NH does. For example, Exit 11 is at, yes, Mile 11:
Same could be said at Exit 2 (US 3 joined the Turnpike at Exit 4):
Exit 1 is at Mile 2 southbound but at Mile 0 northbound, so you could use 1 there, the average. Another curiosity noticed here, NH cannot seem to decide what should be listed first the last few miles before the border, the Turnpike logo, or US 3. Above its the Turnpike, but it is US 3 on this NH route sign:
But its the Turnpike on one of the last overheads before heading across the Mass. border:
And, here it is again, the narrow 3 arrows over one lane sign (and it looks like they had a mistake in the Exit Only banner for the NH 3A sign with it apparently over both lanes and had to put a new one and move it to the right).

D. Back to Massachusetts
Had a chance to take a few more photos along US 3 in MA before it got dark. Here's the first overhead southbound put up after the road was widened but not the current style regarding the Exit tab:
Looks like the number leaks over into the advance sign itself. Will this and all the others along US 3, (with a few exceptions, see below), have to be updated if milepost numbers are used? Meanwhile, here's one of the weirder large US 3 shields used on this section of the freeway:
 This one is not a cut out, and features a real small size 3 numeral. There apparently has been a sign update at the I-495/MA 110 interchange:
This is a new style sign with the line separated exit tab. This is used for all the signs for these exits:
Are all the signs going to be updated to this style before exit number conversion. Why no control city listed for US 3. Finally, a more normal looking US 3 South reassurance marker sign:
A larger 3 just looks better, though I never have liked the small directional banners sitting to the left.

Other road news picked up after it got dark. They were closing lanes on I-95/128 South near Route 2A for paving and placing a new concrete barrier in the median as is the case now between US 3 and I-93 and from Trapelo Rd south to almost MA 9. Additional paving was going on between US 1 and East St, unlike the first closure, which was marked, this second had no warning signage (except a VMS saying drivers should look out for paving work starting on 7/21) and a worker rolling over an orange barrel ended up in my lane while it had began raining, limiting visibility as is. I was lucky to have been able to slow down and swerve out of the way without hitting anyone or anything. Before this in the Needham area there were several new overhead signs placed where the current Add-A-Lane work is going on. This included 2 new signs for the MA 135 exit and a 1 mile advance sign for MA 109 paired with a new Blue Truck Turnout area sign.

Lastly, an update on the I-93 signage project. In my Previous Post, I indicated that no new work had been done as to new signage along the SE Expressway portion from Braintree to Boston. The day after I drove through there the contractor apparently started putting up new exit gore signs and continued doing so on Friday and Saturday nights. From looking over traffic cameras, there appear to be new signs northbound for Exit 8 and maybe Exit 9, and southbound for Exit 15, perhaps 12, I may go out later this week to investigate more. I will definitely not be keeping all my money and info in one place the next time I travel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The story behind the ghost ramps around Pittsburgh International Airport

The roads around Pittsburgh International Airport have a lot of history and intrigue.  The growth of the airport and resulting land acquisitions has changed the routing of many roads in Western Allegheny County.  As the airport grew and traffic around the airport increased, the need for new roads would also change the landscape.  Of course, the fact that this is Pittsburgh means there were also plans for highways that never came to be.  Two of these never built highway plans, the Beaver Valley Expressway (BVE) extension and the full-speed connection to the Southern Expressway at Flaugherty Run Road have traces - specifically ghost ramps - of highways that never came to be.

Beaver Valley Expressway Extension:

For close to three decades this unused piece of roadway along the southern end of Beaver Valley Expressway puzzled Pittsburgh area travelers.  Located near the current-day maintenance hangers for Pittsburgh International Airport, this concrete stub of a highway was supposed to be …

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

Roebling Aqueduct

In a quiet and often overlooked corner of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the country's oldest surviving suspension bridge crosses the Delaware River into New York.  The Delaware Aqueduct, designed and built by famed engineer John A. Roebling, has withstood a very colorful history from being an important piece in the region's transportation, to uncertainty during the growth of rail, nearly eight decades of neglect and poor management as a private toll bridge, to finally being restored by the National Park Service and in use as an automobile bridge today.

Construction and Canal Era (1847-1898):
During the 1840's, the Delaware & Hudson Canal was looking at ways to speed up service along its route.  One of the major bottlenecks was where the canal reached the Delaware River.  Since it began operation in 1828, the D&H used a rope ferry to pull traffic along to Canal across the Delaware.  The conflicting traffic of vessels going down the Delaware to Trenton or Philadelphia and…