Maryland Roads - I-68/US 40/US 220

I-68, I-68/US 40 (and US 220)

MD - More than Deer!

A graceful welcome to Maryland, EB at Blooming Rose Rd.

I-68 gained its number in 1991 when the freeway was completed, and these WB photos are from that very year, courtesy John Krakoff. As you can see, the freeway west of US 40 was constructed as US 48, and that was as far as it was going to go until MD decided to seek Interstate status.

The next 10 photos are eastbound.

At the top of the Exit 22 ramp to US 219, and the end of the 219/68 duplex. ALT US 40 is the old road that has been supplanted by I-68; I don't see why US 40 doesn't just stay on the old highway.

MD 495 duplicates the number of I-495, the Beltway around Washington, DC. Further muddling the situation is the lack of an exit tab.

At least twenty of the tenth mileposts on I-68 have inverted colors, with numbered cranes [actually, they seem to be blue herons] sitting seemingly randomly atop them. The numbers appear to count backward, from east to west. Angela Michaelina explains that these were part of the discontinued Maryland Mountain Game, to keep kids interested as they crossed the state. "Hey kids, keep a look out for tiny orange signs on the side of the road where you can't tell what they are or what the number is! That should shut you up for the next three hours, right?" Maryland Welcome Centers carried booklets for this game, which I'm sure interested parents gobbled up by the ones and twos.

Crossed both this and the Mason-Dixon twice during the same weekend.

Old US 40 in Cumberland, built as a freeway well before the rest of I-68, and thus considerably substandard. Before this was built through hills on either side of Cumberland and right through the center of the city, US 40 went north through the communities of La Vale, Narrows Park, and Locust Grove, then curved southeast into the city. The upgrade on the east side of town was a direct overlay of the original highway, and thus is much closer to Interstate standards. The only way to fix I-68 is a complete bypass of the Cumberland area, and that isn't happening.

The Monroe St. overpass is well over 20 feet high, which is probably why the original street name sign hasn't been replaced.

The first WB photos on the page, same area.

Looking north in the heart of the eastern Appalachians.

Billmeyer (I have also seen this as Bill Meyer, which seems correct but that may be exactly why it's wrong) used to be some sort of Headquarters based on this WB sign. It might be "Dep't Natl Rec". What can you see?

The famous, expensive, and necessary Sideling Hill cut, EB in the first two photos and seen from the top of the pedestrian overpass from the museum in the last two photos (looking west). Without this feat, US 40 would have hairpin curves (now on Scenic US 40), there would be no I-68, and trucks would have to pay considerable money (and potentially go dozens of miles out of their way) to follow I-70 along the Pennsylvania Turnpike or I-64 along the West Virginia Turnpike.

A longer westbound run, since there are much better sightlines in this direction. Signs for the Exhibit Center have been replaced by "rest area," because the museum was closed due to lack of maintenance funds. Also, sadly, the uppermost reaches of the sidewalk along the rock face have also been closed, although the pedestrian overpass remains open (linking the EB parking lot to the WB-side building).

EB at the end of the Interstate, why does the first sign need to be white? Why does the second sign need such a wide I-shield? (The ABC is fine, as US 522 wyes into I-70 just east of the end of I-68.) I'm sure glad the third sign is button copy.

Exit 14 to US 40 alone
Onto US 220 alone

Into West Virginia on I-68
Exits 14 and 22 to US 219
To Alt. US 40
Onto MD 51
Exit 82 to I-70
Exit 82 to US 522
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