Alps' Roads Special - Pikeville Road Meet

Pikeville Road Meet, October 19, 2013

I ended up doing this meet as a daytrip from the Raleigh area, which I appear to have flown to/from instead of driving. Out of this unusual setup, I took I-40 west to Business I-40 to US 52 north, future I-74. The theme for the day was following 52, first into Virginia, then skipping ahead via VA 148 to I-77, back to US 52 via I-81. I quickly clinched VA 98, then entered West Virginia still on US 52 and checked out some King Coal Highway construction across the state. 52 joined US 119 and there I finally left it, heading south into Kentucky on US 119 and up US 460 to the meet at Reno Roadhouse. It was my honor to have invited and convinced highway historian Michael Summa, contributor of many valuable historic photos to this site, to attend his first road meet with us all. He brought us some goodies, including a selection of his homemade miniature signs. Marvel at these:

After lunch, we got down to business. The first leg of the meet headed back east on US 460 (with assorted other routes along for the ride) to the Pikeville Cut-Through overlook, to go over how Kentucky blasted away hillside to straighten the highway through an oxbow of the Levisa Fork Big Sandy River, bypassing the town of Pikeville. The rest of the meet was also themed on 460, but the future alignment there of (Corridor Q). We continued east onto US 119 south, passing the western interchange of future Corridor Q, then circled onto KY 122 via the tiny KY 2167, little more than a two-way interchange ramp. We headed north on 122, back under Corridor Q, to the current US 460 alignment, then east to the next viewing spot down Greasy Creek Road (KY 3226). 3226 had been newly routed on the future Corridor Q interchange ramp to end up at the future US 460 (KY 3174), which had a short section of two-way roadway open to serve a dead-end to the east. We checked out Corridor Q construction at eye level to our hearts' content and got ourselves a meet photo:

Looking east along Future US 460, we have Mike Tantillo, Jason Ilyes, Eric Near, Cody Goodman, Brian Powell, Laura Bianca, H.B. Elkins (host, kneeling, requesting help), Mark David Moore, Michael Pruett, C.P. Zilliacus, Michael Summa and ladyfriend, yours truly, Anthony Costanzo, Chris and Christy Curley.

From there, the tour got into some local roads to continue under Q and out to KY 195. That took us back to US 460. Getting closer to Virginia, the tour continued down KY 80 for one last Kentucky view of the future highway on KY 1373. It was then into Virginia on 80, with a detour up Buchanan SR 610 to see Corridor Q once more, then continuing east on VA 80 to cross under its own future alignment - waiting on completion of the new highway to be numbered as such. Then, well, we were supposed to follow SR 609 back east to US 460, but the roads had been recently realigned in the area due to construction, so we stayed on VA 80 until we realized our error and took VA 83 east instead. This had the unfortunate effect of making us late to dinner, but we did eventually find our way back to US 460 into Kentucky to Pikeville, where we quickly crammed in the last feature of the road meet: a jaunt around town on the local highways created by the Pikeville Cut-Through (KY 3496, KY 1426, KY 1460).
Since my daytip had another six hours back to Raleigh, I uncharacteristically didn't stick around for the meet dinner. I took US 460 back into Virginia, then VA 16 south to I-81. If you were wondering why I skipped some of US 52 earlier in the day, it was because I wanted to balance the driving between morning and evening. Now I took Exit 80 to US 52, completing my clinch in Virginia. Once back into North Carolina, I took US 601 by cover of night to US 64, the "scenic route" back in. That was a heck of a long daytrip, but considering I haven't been back to that area since (after two meets in the same year), I'm glad I went and saw a lot of interesting construction. And all the people. And Mr. Summa himself. Well worth the price of admission.

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