Skip to main content

Another mini-Road Trip Report

For a class project yesterday (3/6) I had to drive to Brandeis University and interview the staff of the university archives and special collections department. They have a Joseph Heller collection that contains several drafts of Catch 22 (on display in their exhibit space) and also several of his draft scripts for McHale's Navy (not on display). But I digress, I took advantage of the trip to take a look at several new and interesting signs along the '128' corridor between Braintree and Waltham.

Traveling to the end of I-93, they have installed another overhead gantry for a huge sign, this one at the I-95 South on ramp...
The left-hand sign still awaits an additional 4th arrow when the new lane opens up, hopefully later this year. You may also have noticed the gap to the right of the 1 on the exit tab. This is like the previous signs I have posted for this exit, like the one installed near Exit 3 in the Fall of 2010:
I thought this space was so that both 'ramps' to I-95, like at MA 3 when it meets I-93 in Braintree, could be labeled. The reason given by MassDOT was to make them easier to identify for those reporting accidents. But, as you can see in the top photo, there's no tab on the left hand sign for I-95 North/US 1 South. Why the space then? Did they forget to put the left-hand tab on, are waiting for the final arrow to go up, or is this one of the ways MassDOT is preparing for when they have to adopt mile-post based exit numbering? The I-95 exit is at Mile 0, the MA 138 exit is at Mile 1, thus both should get a 1 number in a mile-based system. Is this exit tab set up preparing for the day this exit will be 1A and MA 138 will be 1B and 1C?

On the way back I took some photos along MA 30 which I exited at off of I-95/MA 128 to reach Brandeis. I thought this assembly was quite unique:
The only instance I know of an I-95/I-90 'implied multiplex' on a ground-based sign. There are several similar I-90/I-93 ones in downtown Boston. The overhead signs at the actual interchange are a cornucopia of route numbers too:
This happened to be the day the contract for replacing the signage along this stretch of I-95 was closed for bids. Maybe there will be newer signs here the next time I visit. Notice the lack of auxiliary MA 128 signs that you see at other interchanges. Maybe they thought it was one sign too many.

Heading back onto I-95 South, they are making progress in building the new bridges for the widening project between Exits 18 and 17. Nothing seems to have started on the final stretch north of there to MA 9, Exit 20. More action near the I-95/I-93 interchange in Canton. Another new sign on I-93/US 1 Northbound for MA 24 (similar to that at 1 mile):
I didn't notice it at the time, but the moon has a guest appearance at the top of the sign, just follow the arrow. The moon also makes an appearance below, this was put up last year, but this was my first decent photo of it:
Work remains to be done on the bridge and along the median around it. It appears the winter construction stoppage period is over a little early this year. Hopefully, progress will be made so that the new lane between MA 24 and US 1 in Dedham can be opened by the summer and the rest of the new signage installed. If it happens before June (more on that later) I'll post a report.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Small Towns of Virginia Series - Charlotte Court House

This sleepy little rural town in Central Virginia can easily be overlooked.  Located miles from the Interstate or four lane US and Virginia Highways, Charlotte Court House in many ways is easily forgotten.  However, this tiny town of slightly over 400 residents holds a lot of Virginia and American History.

In 1799, Charlotte Court House saw the passing of the torch from an aging Patrick Henry and a young John Randolph.  The great debate over states' rights was the last for the fiery Henry and the first in public for Randolph.  Randolph would go on to serve in the US House of Representatives and U.S. Minister to Russia.  Henry, who was serving in the Virginia General Assembly representing Charlotte County at the time of the debate, died three months later.

Charlotte Court House is not the original name of the town.  Originally named The Magazine, then Daltonsburgh, followed by Marysville (which was the town's name at the time of the Henry-Randolph debate), Smithfield, and finally…

History of the Wawona Road (Yosemite National Park)

Recently I located a portion of the Old Wawona Road that was the original alignment used by wagons and early cars to get to Yosemite Valley from the south before the Wawona Tunnel was built.  Locating the Old Wawona Road was the primary driving force to head to a very dry Yosemite National Park this winter.






Generally I don't talk about the history of a route first, but in the case of the Wawona Road I thought it was particularly important to do so first.  The modern Wawona Road is approximately 28 miles in length from the north terminus of California State Route 41 at the boundary of Yosemite National Park to South Side Drive near Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite Valley.  A good chunk of people entering Yosemite Valley use the Wawona Road which generally is considered to be the easiest route...that certainly was not always the case.

The origins of the Wawona Road are tied to the Wawona Hotel.  The first structure in the Wawona Hotel complex dates back to 1876 which was built by the Wa…

Old California State Route 41 on Road 425B

While researching the history of the Lanes Bridge crossing of the San Joaquin River I noticed an oddity on the 1935 California Division of Highways map of Madera County.  Today California State Route 41 takes a crossing of the Fresno River west of the confluence with China Creek.  Back on the 1935 Map of Madera County the crossing is very clearly east of the confluence crossing on what are now Road 425B and Road 426 in Oakhurst.   CA 41 can be seen traversing southbound from Oakhurst on Road 425B towards Coarsegold on the 1935 Madera County Map.

1935 Madera County Highway Map

After viewing Road 425B on the Google Street Vehicle it was clear that the path downhill from the top of Deadwood Gulch was substantially more haggard than the modern alignment of CA 41.  I finally had occasion to visit Oakhurst today so I pulled off of modern CA 41 at Road 425B.   Immediately I was greeted by this warning sign.






Road 425B ahead was clearly a narrow road but barely wide enough for two vehicles.  T…