Skip to main content

Vermont Road Trip, Day One

I applied for an open records management position at the Vermont Transportation Agency (VTrans) a couple weeks ago. Last Friday I was asked to interview for the position on Thursday 7/11 (how convenient) and decided to take advantage of the situation by going up the day before and do some road tripping along the way. My trip would take me up I-93 from south of Boston to Barre, VT, just south of Montpelier off of I-89. Along the way I took a 'few' photos that I will share with you.

A. I-93 Signage South of Boston
I took a quick south detour on my way north to check out any progress on the sign replacement project along I-93 from Randolph to Boston. Nothing new truly to report. All the overhead sign foundations have been up between Randolph and Braintree for a at least a couple weeks. There is now apparently a lull between getting the foundations in and the signs and support structures up. This hopefully will start happening before the start of fall. As for the SE Expressway portion, no new signage of any sort this past month, either on the road or at intersecting highways.

B. I-93 Signage North of Boston
MassDOT now considers both signage projects north of Boston complete. I took many photos in a previous post last year. I used this opportunity to get photos of signs that were not up last time, or that were farther north than I had traveled before. Here's one of the newer assemblies that had not been replaced as of last summer:
These two exits are in the Andover area. More progress, but no completion yet, of the sound wall construction along I-93 between Dascomb Road and MA 133:
This overhead assembly may not have been put up until the wall was largely completed in this area. Here is one of the I-495 signs that had not been replaced:
You can see the truck on the right is obeying the sign restricting their use of the far left lane. Here's signage after the I-495 interchange approaching River Road:
This is where I turned around during my last trip so all the rest of the signage is new, at least, to me. The view at the River Road interchange:
Will River Rd be Exit 42 when milepost based exit numbering is adopted? That would probably make MA 110/113 Exit 43. The exit numbers on this end are not far off mile-wise as closer to Boston. Here's more signage for MA 110/113:
Apparently, based on the warning sign, this is near the Lawrence Airport. We are now approaching the last few exits in MA. Here is the first sign for the MA 213 exit:
This overhead assembly at the MA 110/113 interchange crosses both sides of I-93. The next exit...
Is actually two exits which share the same C/D ramp as can be seen below:
Under a mile-based system, would it make sense for these two exits to share the same number? Pelham St does have a separate ramp heading south.

C. I-93 Signage in New Hampshire
I had not driven I-93 north of the MA border in a long time. Certainly not before they started the current widening project between Salem and Manchester. The first few miles across the border are largely complete with four to sometimes five lanes of traffic. Here's the view approaching Exit 1:
This will make it easier for all the MA residents going to the NH for liquor, I mean for fun at Canobie Lake Park just across the border. The widened interstate does not last long. The lanes start to disappear approaching Exit 2:
While there is a future 4th lane, it is currently not used. The end of the widened highway appears shortly before Exit 2:
Notice the variable speed limit signs on both sides of the highway. Changeable for weather conditions or to switch to metric measurements in the future? (the far future, if at all?). Here's an area currently under construction:
There are pockets of construction all the way up to Manchester, but a continuous construction area north of here is not present. There were some interesting newer signs the rest of the way up to Concord.  Such as:
NH frugality appears to have squeezed a much large 3-lane sign into one with three arrows over one lane. The road here is still 'new' in my opinion, remembering when I-93 did not exist between the current I-293 (then I-193) intersection and the Everett Turnpike at Hooksett. On the way you see the first exit signs, and certainly not the last, for US 3:
Here the narrow I-93 sign is sans arrows and looks better for it. Approaching the (not named) Everett Turnpike. No driver should have the excuse that they were not warned of an approaching toll:
The yellow banner warns drivers that NH 3A is the last exit before toll. But is it? Look here--
Here are two yellow toll banners signs at the ramp to the Everett Turnpike (and the 3 arrows on narrow I-93 sign again) with one indicating that it's the last exit before toll. Perhaps, if you exit I-293 South or follow it back to its southern end at I-93. If not, you'll see that banner again (see Part 2 post). The toll barrier in Hooksett has separated E-ZPass lanes though all toll lanes accept it. Beyond the toll are exit signs for I-89:
Being from MA, an overhead exit sign without an exit tab just looks wrong. Perhaps it will gain one if NH switches to mileage based exits like MA and CT. The on-ramp from I-93 North to I-89 North must have been done by the same design team that created the I-95 North ramp to I-85 South in Petersburg, a real tight curve. I took a few photos of signs on I-89 that look to have been recently replaced too:
I chose the NH 10 (South) Exit at Mile 43 because this was a frequent destination when my parents owned land at the Eastman property complex just off the exit ramp. Never built a house there, but spent many a fall day collecting wood to take back for the winter in MA. The last exit sign I have is for one of the exits to Lebanon, NH:
A place I would become quite familiar with over the next 24 or so hours.

But that's for Part 2: The Return.



Comments

Iola said…
This is gorgeous!

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…