mobilene Posted June 16, 2011 Report Share Posted June 16, 2011 I-70 did a real number on about 18 miles of the National Road west of St. Clairsville, OH. Bits and pieces of the old road remain, some of them not easy to get to. More than 20 years ago I made what remains the longest road trip of my life. I drove from Terre Haute to Mississauga, Ontario, to visit one friend, and then through Niagara Falls and upstate New York, and then down to Edison, New Jersey, where I visited two other friends. Then I headed home, mostly along I-70. I was bored of the Interstate by the time I crossed into Ohio, and when I saw an exit for US 40 at St. Clairsville, I took it. (This was just past the Blaine bridges, but I didn’t know that then.) I regretted it almost immediately. My inner roadgeek had not yet awakened, and I was not amused by all the stoplights in St. Clairsville and by the fellow in front of me who was determined to drive 15 miles per hour less than the speed limit. I got out my big Rand McNally atlas (which seems downright quaint now) and looked for a way to get back onto I-70. It showed that US 40 merged onto I-70 ten or so miles ahead, just past Morristown. It even showed that the road widened to four lanes a few miles ahead of the merge. The slowpoke turned off, and in relief I put my foot into the gas pedal. I reached an intersection where signs said to turn left to reach I-70, but I blew by it eager to drive the four-lane US 40 just ahead. I had the four-lane highway to myself. A rusty guardrail divided the eastbound and westbound lanes. Then I passed a US 40 reassurance marker covered in black plastic, and then a big green sign also covered in black plastic. Was the road closed? Had I missed a detour? My concern turned to fright as I rounded a curve at 65 miles per hour and found myself staring right into a hillside. With no warning, the road ended right at its base! I slammed on the brakes and came to a stop just ten feet away from the end. Rand McNally was wrong. US 40 didn’t merge onto I-70 here; rather, I-70 was built over US 40, at least 30 feet up. Here's the scene today. Dead end by mobilene, on Flickr Here's how the road curves in from the east. Dead end by mobilene, on Flickr About a mile later, old US 40/NR emerges from the fill. Mt. Olivet Rd. by mobilene, on Flickr In this case, they abandoned the westbound lanes. Mt. Olivet Rd. by mobilene, on Flickr Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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