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Route 66 Wednesdays; Santa Monica to Pasadena

Back between 2011 and 2013 I traveled on various western parts of the former US Route 66 for work between Santa Monica, CA east to Albuquerque, NM.  That being the case I spent a ton of time tracking down old alignments and pretty much anything of interesting, at least enough to justify a stand alone day.  This week I'll be looking back at US Route 66 between Santa Monica to Cajon Pass.

Originally US 66 had a western terminus in the City of Los Angeles from when the inception of the route until 1936.  The western terminus of US 66 was on Broadway Street in downtown Los Angeles at 7th Street which carried US 101 at the time.  The very early state maintained alignment of US 66 and US 101 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Los Angles County.

1935 Los Angeles County Highway Map

There was some alignment shifts for pretty much every US Route in Los Angeles in the 1930s, they are covered in detail on USends.com.

USends on US Route end points in Los Angeles

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Pittsburgh's Ohio River Boulevard

By the mid-1970's, Ohio River Boulevard had gone from a beautiful tree lined thoroughfare connecting neighboring communities from the north and west with Pittsburgh into a wretched eyesore and a deathtrap.  As the decade closed, one of the deadliest eras of Pittsburgh roadways would begin.  Beginning November 7, 1979 and running through March of 1981, 15 individuals would lose their lives on the boulevard.  Eight of which occurred between Manchester and the McKees Rocks Bridge. (1)  The deadliest period was the first half of 1980 when seven people lost their lives; compare the number of dead to the three that lost their lives on the Parkway West (Interstate 279) and the two on the Parkway East (Interstate 376) during the same time period. (1)

Planning for Ohio River Boulevard began in the 1920s. (see scans below) Funded by the 1928 County Bond Issue, construction began on the route that would run from the city neighborhood of Manchester to the Borough of Emsworth. (2)  The four and…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

Zero Milestone of the Old Spanish Trail

Back in early March 2013, I embarked on a road trip where I visited some of the historic coastal cities of the Southeastern United States. Norfolk, Virginia, Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida were the cities that I had stopped in along my way down south. Upon arriving in the main historic district of St. Augustine, I had parked my car and started heading to the historic Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, which is the site of a historic fort that was originally constructed by the colonial era Spanish. During my walk to the fort, I had walked past an old stone sphere, just a few blocks north of the historic downtown area. Upon further investigation, I had found that it was the Zero Milestone of the Old Spanish Trail, which was a highway through the southern tier of states in the United States of America, stretching from St. Augustine all the way to San Diego, California.

The Old Spanish Trail was originally developed in 1915 as a touring ro…

Florida Friday; the Great 2012 Florida Trip Part 1 the Sunshine Skyway Bridge

Throughout my entire life I've had interactions with the state of Florida.  I had family around the Pensacola and Tampa areas, our family took trips down to the state from the Mid-West to theme parks in the 1980s/90s, and of course there was racing as well.  Back in late 2012 the economy was still hurting in Arizona and I was getting ready to make the move to Florida.  Before I moved to Florida, I took a long trip to the southern half of the state to get a lay of the land which is what this blog is about.  I have a ton of stuff sitting in albums from 2012 to 2016 which I figure would make for a decent Friday topic, or "Florida Friday."

Upon arriving in Florida I wanted to go out and see some of the sites that I wanted to always check out on the road.  The first was the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay which carries US 19/I-275.


The current Skyway Bridge is a 4.14 mile cable stayed design which opened in 1987.  The new Skyway Bridge is 430 feet tall in the center spa…

Throwback Thursday; Arizona State Route 179

This week for Throwback Thursday I'm looking back at Arizona State Route 179.


AZ 179 is a 14.5 north/south route running from I-17 to AZ 89A (former US 89A) in Sedona.  Parts of AZ 179 were designated in 2006 as the Red Rock Scenic By which is an All American Byway.  While I certainly favored AZ 89A due to it's much more historic status, AZ 179 certainly has a ton of merit as a scenic drive as it traverses the red rock bluffs of greater Sedona.

I don't know the exact date of when AZ 179 was created as a state route.  However, I do know the roadway is tied to AZ 79 being extended to Flagastaff via the modern alignment of I-17 which was between 1956 to 1961.

1956 Arizona State Highway Map

1961 Arizona State Highway Map

My first encounter with the Sedona Area was after my 16th birthday back in 1999 when I was still living in Michigan towards the end of high school.  I went out to Phoenix with my Mom and Sister to visit my older brother.  My brother had been living out in the …

Throwback Thursday - December 7, 2017

For Throwback Thursday this week, we go back to April 2005 to US 15 in Painted Post, New York (this section of road is now part of I-99 as well). At the time, there was a sign for the Gang Mills exit where a NY 417 shield with a white background was affixed to the sign. I believe that it had to do with a maintenance swap that took place a few years prior. The sign is now long gone, replaced with something not quite unique.