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

Abandoned Us 61

Dave Darby

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Unbeknownst to most folks driving the busy 4 lane, interstate-like US 61 past Maquoketa, Iowa, is this quaint and quiet section of old US 61 that was bypassed in 1967. Now known as 182nd Ave, the pavement leading up to this bridge was laid in 1929. (Thanks to the landowner, Bruce for graciously allowing my wife and I to explore this section, which is gated off.




One can imagine what it was like when two semi trucks passed each other on this narrow bridge. Bruce told me that that back in the heyday, you could see the sparks when the trucks would clash mirrors at night....




Here is the view from the north. The weeds have all but taken over the pavement...




Looking north again at the Blues Highway, stuff of Bob Dylan songs...




And an over-all of the bridge...




At the north end of this stretch, looking south...





Father north we find another abandoned section of US 61, comeplete with the ubiquitous haybales. New 61 has cut the old into many sections, criss-crossing as we head north towards Dubuque...




104th Ave, south of Zwingle, Another abandoned stretch picks up again on the other side of current US 61.




You can pile on all the asphalt you want, but there is no disguising an old highway alignment....




Until next time...



Edited by Dave Darby
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More great stuff, Dave. I would love to own property with an abandoned highway running through it! Reminds me of where US 50 crosses from Indiana into Illinois. There's an old brick alignment just north of it, where a previous bridge used to cross. There's a house on it, and the owner parks his cars on the brick approach to the bridge (long since removed). jim

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