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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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mobilene last won the day on August 19 2015

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About mobilene

  • Birthday 08/12/1967

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  1. Someone has scanned and uploaded a whole passel of Automobile Blue Books at the Internet Archive. The link: https://archive.org/details/newberry?sort=-publicdate&and%5B0%5D=blue+automobile -Jim
  2. Well, it was a safety hazard for overly curious lookie-loos -- I can see someone climbing out there past the barriers, and walking too far onto the deck and having it crumble below him, and then sue the county for damages.
  3. When I surveyed the Michigan Road in 2008, I found this 1903 stone-arch bridge on a one-lane original alignment of the road in southeastern Shelby County, Indiana. This sort of thing is just about the old-road holy grail. Stone bridge, one-lane alignment by Jim Grey, on Flickr Unfortunately, in 2013 one of the arches collapsed. Photo by Indiana Landmarks. To make a long story short, this doomed the bridge. Preservationists tried to save it, but the damage was simply greater than Shelby County could afford to deal with. When I drove by here last week, the bridge had been demolished. Site of the former Middletown Bridge by Jim Grey, on Flickr Comedic points go to whoever scratched the "1" off the weight limit sign.
  4. I drove back out to that spot and found the cut filled with concrete, so no more exploration is possible. :-( However, I did enjoy my trip along the Michigan Road in Marion (Indianapolis) and Shelby Counties to review sign placement. Indianapolis Dept. of Public Works and INDOT did great jobs placing the signs. Shelby County screwed it up pretty bad, placing only two of the four signs we asked for, and then in entirely the wrong places. Soooooo I'm trying to get in touch with someone in Shelby County to get it fixed.
  5. Unfortunately, this is the only photo I got. I was stopped at a light and snapped a quick one with my phone. I was on my way to a job interview -- I lost my job in June and spent most of this summer looking. I start a new job on Monday. But all the networking and interviewing left me little time to hit the road, or to return to this construction site to look more! I think the grooving in the concrete is related to the construction, and was not a normal feature of the road. I wish I had access to info about this road's pavement history. I wonder the same: what the heck IS that beneath the bricks? I know that in some places bricks were laid on a concrete pad, and in others they were laid in sand. That stuff looks like neither. It makes me wonder if it's an older form of pavement that predated the bricks. I've decided tomorrow is the day to survey the Michigan Road signs in Shelby and Marion Counties. There was an old stone bridge on an 1-lane alignment of the MR in Shelby County that collapsed and has been removed, so I want to see the hole where it was. And I'm interested to see what's changed on that section of the road, as I haven't driven it in a while.
  6. I was driving along Washington St. (NR, US 40) in Indianapolis recently and came upon some road construction downtown. Some of the road had been cut out in the middle, and it revealed several layers of pavement. One of them was brick, which isn't terribly surprising as newer surfaces are commonly laid down directly over old. But it was nice to see it. I can't entirely tell what layers lurk below, but I do see splintered wood. Weather and schedule have prevented me from getting onto the road this season, but I want to drive the Michigan Road in Shelby and Marion Counties to make sure the Historic Michigan Road signs are properly placed, and I want to drive the Lafayette Road, an 1830s road connecting Indianapolis and Lafayette. It was four laned in the early 1930s but a couple two-lane concrete bits remain. -Jim
  7. http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/cars-of-our-ancestors-our-family-legacy-in-car-pictures/#comment-245948 I thought you might enjoy this article at an old-car site for which I write. One of the other contributors got out a box of road-trip photographs his grandfather took going back as far as about 1920 and told some of the stories. All of these photos are from California at that time, and frequently the author includes a link to Google Street View showing the same scene today. -Jim
  8. Got to take a trip on the Lincoln in northestern Indiana not long ago - the 1913 alignment. I've wanted to see the brick segment near Ligonier for approximately forever and I finally got my chance. Brick Lincoln Highway by Jim Grey, on Flickr You come upon it suddenly. We missed the south entrance as we headed northbound, so we turned in on the north entrance. Brick Lincoln Highway by Jim Grey, on Flickr I'm not used to seeing mortared brick roads out here. Most of the ones I've encountered in IN and IL are laid without mortar on a concrete pad. Brick Lincoln Highway by Jim Grey, on Flickr I'm also very impressed with the way this curve was constructed. I've not seen another like it. Brick Lincoln Highway by Jim Grey, on Flickr I've also never seen a brick gutter before. Even on the NR in IL, the gutters are concrete. Brick Lincoln Highway by Jim Grey, on Flickr Here's the south end. That's my girlfriend Margaret over there, exploring on her own. I've got to do a proper LH tour across Indiana. As we drove between Churubusco and Elkhart I saw all sorts of little road remnants off to the side. -Jim
  9. I think Posey County's ability to manage this is tenuous. But yes, at least something is going to happen. As much as I love an old bridge, I think it's more important to have a bridge here than a historic bridge, and so if it is most cost effective to raze and rebuild, I'm for it. My understanding is that sometimes you can get federal funds for a rebuild that are not available for a rehab. -Jim
  10. I got to drive that bridge back in '07. My sons and I were on spring break and just drove around as much of Indiana as we could. We didn't particularly want to go into Illinois for anything but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to drive that bridge. So glad I did now.
  11. You scofflaw. I had no idea about this route. I've driven portions of it, esp. IN SR 62, which is one of my favorite drives in the state. And I've GOT to go see the Triple Whipple one day. -Jim
  12. I forgot my password and so went through the Forgot Password process. This process uses a "key captcha" to validate that I'm a human. I was asked to sort pictures by dragging them into groups. The problem was, the pictures were too small for me to make out. I failed this process six times before finally succeeding. It was a massive pain. Can this be eliminated or changed to something more doable?
  13. This is perfect Dave! I found that resource on Google Books. I keep forgetting to search there. Such a valuable resource. I also found there some Illinois Dept of Highways reports from the early 20s. The photos in those are fascinating. There's one photo there of a crew widening a 10-foot road to allow 2 lanes of traffic. So clearly Illinois build these narrow roads in several places. There are no references to a 9-foot-wide concrete road, so perhaps this segment I've photographed is actually 10 feet wide. I didn't exactly get down and measure it! What is clear from these DOH reports is that Illinois was road-building crazy in the early 1920s! Interesting to me that the 1922 ABB says concrete all the way when between the state line and about Clark Center the road was paved in brick. But whatevs -- it was still a hard surface.
  14. P.S. A commenter on my blog left this comment: One other clue to dating of this section. George Stewart says he travelled this section of the National Road in 1919 after WW1 and while Indiana’s road was paved the bottom just totally dropped out at the Illinois line. Also since the old road has continued in use from the west side of Casey( where I grew up) to a couple of miles east of Martinsville the original bridges were still in use when I started driving. The date plates had them built in 1920. It was interesting on the old 16 foot wide pavement to meet the daily Greyhound bus on that road. Just east of Martinsville old 40 makes a swing to the north and goes under the PA RR. East of this you can see where the original National road went straight west towards Martinsville and had a 9 foot wide concrete slab. East of where old 40 rejoins “new”40 you can see that they added concrete strips on either side of the 9 foot strip for several miles to widen it to probably 16 foot wide. It’s funny that around 1955 “new “40 was completed and they still call it that… But then in Casey the high school gym was built in 1927 and is still referred to as the “new” gym.
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