Alps' Roads Special - Hartford Road Meet

Hartford Road Meet, April 26, 2008

Click on the group photo for a closeup.



In the background of this meet photo is the historic Bulkeley Bridge, carrying I-84, US 6, and US 44 across the Connecticut River. It's among the three oldest bridges carrying Interstate highway traffic. From left to right: Agham Posadas, yours truly (front), Mike Tantillo, Dan Vincent, Jon Daly, Doug Krause and the two Krause children, John Krakoff, Jason Ilyes, Corey Dukes, Eric Bryant, Doug Kerr, Adam Moss, Mark Sinsabaugh, and Adam's father Paul (not officially a meet attendee, but he was along for the whole event, so he counts).
The route to the Hartford Road Meet took me through Albany in either direction. Many thanks to the house of Doug Kerr (I can't even say Doug K., thanks to the Massachusetts Doug) and John K. Also many thanks to Canon for my brand-new 8-megapixel camera! I hightailed it up to the Palisades Interstate Parkway in New York via NJ 17 to NY 17 and Seven Lakes Drive, cutting off at Lake Welch Parkway for a change (and a new road to clinch). Since that put me southbound on the PIP, I got out at Exit 14 and saw the button copy on Willow Grove Rd. (Rockland CR 98) before heading back north, up the PIP to US 9W. I then followed Greene CR 23B (the old alignment of NY 23) to NY 23 WB and the old WARNING-CURVE sign (by old, I mean 1920's) on an old alignment at Morrison Rd. From there, I was supposed to follow 23 back to NY 32 to NY 143. Instead, when I hit NY 145 I thought I made a transcription error (since I never wrote the crucial instruction of "left on 32"), so I turned there. Luckily, Doug Kerr got me back on track via Schoharie CR 19A to Albany CR 353, which took me right to the bottom of NY 85. NY 85A to NY 155 completed the trip up. (While there, I was able to clinch 85 and 85A.)

The next day, the five of us (Doug, John, and I were joined by Corey Dukes and Mark Sinsabaugh) split up into two cars for a more comfortable ride over. While Doug, Corey, and Mark headed through Massachusetts past a lot of sights I've already seen, John and I took a more southerly route on less traveled roads. We started out on the Washington Avenue Extension, a NYSDOT reference route, and took NY 85 and the new extension of the Slingerlands Bypass through its many roundabouts. By the way, it still doesn't bypass Slingerlands, it's just the bypass TO Slingerlands. NY 140 and straight on Albany CR 52 took us to NY 32 NB, then across the Dunn Bridge (US 9/20) via I-787. We turned left on Broadway through Rensselaer, then up Washington Ave. to NY 43. The route across to Massachusetts was a bunch of Rensselaer County routes: 55 (Best Rd.), 50 (Millers Corners Rd.), and 18 (Hoags Corners Rd.), then across 16 to Tsatsawassa Lake Road. We passed the lake and took a quick jog down NY 66 to CR 26 (Garfield Rd.), turning right on 28 (Presbyterian Hill Rd.) to 29 (West St.). That was it for Rensselaer County, as West St. became Columbia CR 5A. We crossed US 20 onto Shaker Rd. and visited the Shaker village on Darrow Rd. All of that was the original road through the area, but may have been bypassed before 20 was designated. After realizing that Darrow Rd. did not come out in Massachusetts, we backtracked up the other end and took US 20 to MA 41. There was a quick clinching detour along MA 295, then it was a straight shot to CT 41 and down to Amenia Union. It was back into New York, using Dutchess CR 2 and 3 to get back to CT 341. At this point, we knew we were late, so it was a straight shot across Connecticut, US 202 to CT 4 via CT 118 (bypassing Torrington), then I-84 to the meet in Manchester, CT. I won't say where we ate, because I don't want you to make the mistake of eating there as well. Suffice it to say, EB and WB Exit 62 come out in different spots and require different directions to get to the same place.

Time for the meet! We followed I-84 back west to the I-284 stub (just an exit to East Hartford now), and circled back via US 44 EB to US 5 SB to Pitkin St. To the river we went, stopping in Great River Park to walk the sidewalk on the south side of the Bulkeley Bridge (one of the few Interstate highway sidewalks around) and take the meet photo. I don't remember what exit was taken, but it involved CT 2 to head west to Hartford and Asylum St., coming back east via Jewell St. to the Whitehead Highway (planned I-484 stub). It was back to I-84 WB (via I-91 NB), heading out to South Rd. by Westfarms Mall in Farmington so everyone could take a gander at CT 9 and the ghost stack interchange with I-84. We got back to 84 WB by taking CT 71 NB, and then started the return leg of the trip via CT 9 SB to I-91 NB and the old A detour (no longer signed with the "A" shields): CT 3 NB, CT 2 WB, and I-84 EB (to get around potential congestion at CT 15).

That was the end of the meet. Once again, John and I paired off and went to go see things that neither of us had already seen. We headed west on I-84 yet again, to Exit 46 and the Sisson Ave. stub that would have been the CT 189 freeway. Just guessing, I had John turn on Prospect Ave. NB, and with a beautiful view of the city on the right we came to US 44, and had the presence of mind to turn right. Magically, we found CT 189 (the surface route that actually exists) NB and followed that to MA 189 to MA 57 WB. Somewhere around MA 183, we got bored and decided to wander off the beaten path. We followed Hartsville-Mill River Rd., and while I thought I was heading west, we in fact headed south to Mill River and the old signs there (on the 57 page). John was happy. It was up Mill River-Great Barrington Rd. to County Rd., where we headed west to US 7. Keep in mind we were just tracing lines on a map and had no actual idea where we were going. So it was a minor miracle that we found Sheffield-Egremont Rd. and the old signs thereon, and took MA 23/MA 41 east/north to MA 71 and the very old signs thereon. MA 71 became NY 71, and we followed NY 22 to NY 203. I have no photos, so that tells you I'd already been this way: through Valatie to US 9 and I-90 back to Doug and John's place.

In the morning, I decided to accompany Doug on the ride to drop Mark S. back in Utica, since I had yet to visit that city. We saw some old shields on Fuller Rd. (Exit 2 of I-90), then hopped up to NY 5 via 90 to I-87 and used NY 7 and I-890 to get to NY 5S. It was 5S all the way out to Utica except for some side trips: NY 103, the old Erie Canal in Fort Hunter, very old concrete posts on old NY 5 in Tribes Hill on the other side of the Mohawk River that looked like possible NY 80 route markers, NY 30A bridge construction in Fultonville, and NY 169 to Little Falls (very little, in my opinion, but with old shields). Once in Utica, the job was to drive some roads: NY 5A to NY 5B via a short stretch of 5, then back via NY 5 to the new Judd Rd. expressway - NY 840. We turned right at the end of 840, taking Halsey Rd. and Clarks Mills Rd. to Clinton St. into downtown Whitesboro for the Danger Library Crossing sign, then up NY 69 and Main St. (old 69), including the Main St. stub at NY 291, to Rome. In Rome, the route was Mill St. to NY 49 to NY 26/NY 46 NB and around NY 825 (Mohawk Dr.) past the former Griffiss AFB, back to NY 49 EB. We drove I-790 in both directions, then took NY 8/12 NB for an exit or two to a U-turn, and exited at the official end of I-790 to NY 5S EB into Utica. This was just to look at signs, so another U-turn took us to NY 5A WB and the remaining signs we had missed at NY 69.

It was time to say goodbye to Mark, so Doug and I meandered our way back. We followed NY 8 to US 20, stopping for old alignments and old signs, even detouring down NY 166 into Cherry Valley for another old sign. The biggest detour on the route back to Albany was NY 395 SB (a quick clinch) to Schoharie Tpk. (Schenectady CR 74) and right back to 20. I said goodbye to Doug and set out via I-90 EB to the Taconic State Pkwy., paying a small toll to be able to finally say I've clinched that road. It was already getting somewhat late, so I stayed on the Taconic to Underhill Ave. to NY 129, and followed 129 into NY 9A to US 9, using a U-turn to finally take a look at the southern stub of the old bridge from Ossining to Croton-on-Hudson (the northern stub is in a county park). From there it was down 9, stopping for the button-copy stop sign on Gilbert Park, to Long Hill Rd. via Scarborough Rd., over to NY 448 for one more clinched route, and back onto 9 to I-287 EB to the Saw Mill River Pkwy. The rest of the route is the usual - Mosholu Pkwy. to I-87 to I-95, I-80, and using Union Blvd. and local streets to get to CR 527.

Doug Kerr's meet page
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