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Showing posts from April, 2017

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 …

West Dummerston Covered Bridge

Most covered bridges in Vermont or anywhere else in the United States aren't terribly long. Most are under 120 feet.  The West Dummerston Covered Bridge is depending on the source anywhere from 267, 271 or 280 feet in length.  It is a two span covered bridge that crosses the West River in the Town of Dummerston.

The bridge is the longest covered bridge that is entirely within the state of Vermont.  The Cornish-Windsor bridge is longer at 449 feet but is shared by both Vermont and the State of New Hampshire.   The West Dummerston Bridge was built in 1872 and is of the town lattice truss design.  The bridge is actually the fourth crossing of the West River at or near this site.  Three prior bridges were built prior to the the 1872 bridge and all were washed away by floods.  (1)  The bridge was built by Celeb B. Lamson and is the only surviving bridge that he had built. (2)  The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic in 1993 and only reopened after an extensive rehabilitation was co…

Future Interstate 587 now signed in North Carolina

Future Interstate 587 signs are now posted along US 264 in Eastern North Carolina.  The freeway segment of US 264 from Zebulon to Greenville will be designated as Interstate 587 once the entire route is built to interstate standards.   The new signs were first posted on April 12, 2017.

Some Birthday Roadgeekery

For my 40th birthday, quite a few road friends were in town for the celebration.  So after some breakfast at the New York Diner.  Nine of us headed on a brief tour along old US 64 from Knightdale eastwards to Spring Hope.  For the entire set on Flickr - head over here.

First, we stopped and did a quick walk through my hometown of Knightdale.



From there it was out to Zebulon to get to old US 64.  One of the areas I wanted to revisit and show to the crew was the abandoned US 64 Tar River Bridge near Spring Hope.  The bridge is still in good shape and is a very popular fishing hole.


Finally, we did a walkabout in Spring Hope.



Also got a shot of what I understand to be the new standard for low frequency rail crossings.   The Yield signs have become a new requirement.  
Overall it was a quick but nice and enjoyable trip.  I will be working in the Spring Hope photos for a walkabout feature on the Carolina Crossroads Blog soon.

Former Greater Pittsburgh International Airport Terminal

For just over four decades, the former main terminal of Greater Pittsburgh International Airport was the city's gateway to the world.  Located nearly 20 miles west of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Joseph Hoover designed terminal would see millions of travelers pass through its doors.  Known best for the terrazzo compass in the main lobby, the terminal had many other distinguishing features.  The well landscaped entrance that led up to the curved stepped design of the terminal. Each level of the terminal would extend out further than the other allowing for numerous observation decks.  The most popular observation deck, the "Horizon Room", was located on the fourth floor.


From when it opened in the Summer of 1952 until its closing on September 30, 1992, the terminal would grow from a small regional airport to the main hub for USAir.  The terminal would see numerous expansions and renovations over its 40 years of service.  Expansions in 1959, 1972, and 1980 increased the capac…