Alps' Roads Special - Columbus Road Meet

Columbus Road Meet, May 14, 2011

I started my route out in Staten Island, of all places, at a meeting. To make up time once I got back home, I took I-80 all the way through Pennsylvania to US 219 to Brockway. I clinched PA 28 in and out of rain (mostly in) and headed up I-279 for a clinch. From the end of 279, I U-turned at PA 910 and came back down I-79 south to I-70, west to PA 18 into PA 844 and then down WV 88. I was going to clinch 88, but a fallen tree and gravel washes from recent storms had other ideas, so I cut over to WV 2 on up to I-70. I stayed on I-70 to I-71, staying the night at US 23 off of I-270. The next morning, I arranged a pre-meet circle tour around the north. It came down US 23 to OH 161 and turned on OH 710 to clinch, driving by the Budweiser plant that was later featured on the meet tour. Coming back down to OH 161 via Cleveland Ave., we headed east to the end and straight onto OH 37. When it exited the freeway, we exited as well, and turned left on OH 661 for a clinch. This started the Day of Colleges - in order, we passed Denison, Mt. Vernon Nazarene, Kenyon, and Ohio Wesleyan during the pre-meet, and then Fortis and OSU during the meet. We turned up OH 13 and spent some time in and around Mt. Vernon with a loop consisting of OH 229, OH 308, US 36, OH 768, and OH 3. We then headed west on OH 229, picked up clinches of OH 656 and 521, and took US 36 to old US 23. We came back for the meet via US 23 to OH 315, which had a couple of good stops for old bridges - the pier from the former Winter Rd. bridge and the truss bridge that was W. Orange Rd., where we took a pre-meet photo:

Accompanying my morning trip: Sam Scholtens, A.J. Bertin, Brian Rawson-Ketchum. We left 315 at OH 161 and headed over to the meet at this restaurant:

where we were joined by quite a few more people:

From left to right: Ed and Shari Szuba, Sandor Gulyas (meet host, kneeling, and last to his own meet!), Brian Powell, myself, Richard Ruffner, Brian Rawson-Ketchum, A.J. Bertin, Sam Scholtens (remember those three?), Denny Gibson, and Dan Garnell. We headed onto OH 710 (Schrock Rd.) to the Budweiser plant and then onto I-270 to OH 161 and the newly redone Sunbury Rd. interchange. Back onto I-270, the meet went down I-670 and looped through Port Columbus International Airport to check out the signage, then went back on I-270 to I-70 east and all the way out to Kirkersville. There, we turned onto OH 158 for some exploration of the former freeway connection of 70 to US 40 (which has an old alignment of its own there). We came back down 158 to I-70, back west to Columbus, and southwest on I-270 to US 33 and the OH 104 expressway. From there, the meet headed downtown on I-71 to OH 315 and east on US 62/OH 3 to the new Main St. bridge (62/3 EB/NB), then past the state capitol on High St. to US 33 WB to see an ALT 315 assembly from back when the Spring-Sandusky Interchange (OH 315/I-670) was still under construction, stopping at the former Dublin Rd. bridge and seeing some non-roads on Nationwide Blvd. We came back on Spring St. under the Spring-Sandusky Interchange to Confluence Park for a view of the Columbus skyline, then jumped on I-670 WB to I-70. We left 70 at Wilson Rd. to drive US 40 through the disincorporated former town of New Rome to the Big Darby Creek bridge, then turned up OH 142 NB to the Beach Rd. Bridge at the edge of Franklin County. By consensus, we headed downtown to finish off the meet, up Amity Rd. to Scioto & Darby Creek Rd., forced to bear left onto Cemetery Rd. due to roundabout construction in Hilliard, but that reroute at least took us past some nice button copy. We followed Fishinger and Northwest Blvds. to Zollinger Rd. and North Star Rd., ending up on the Lane Ave. Bridge and Ohio State's campus for the last meet stop, returning to Roadhouse 66 via OH 315, I-270, and US 23 to Wilson Bridge Rd.

The next morning, I went up I-71 to OH 750 to the O'Shaughnessy Dam, then south on OH 257 to OH 161. I U-turned at I-270 and headed east to Cleveland Ave. for the start of my full loop on I-270. I drove the entire route counter-clockwise, with two stops. One was to clinch OH 315 via I-70 east and I-670 west to 70, and the other was to head west on US 40 from Exit 41 for a very old state-named I-70 shield on OH 317. After completing the loop, I took I-71 to Cleveland and headed downtown via OH 14/US 422 to finally check out the old signs for myself in Public Square. I headed east on US 20 and lost an hour thanks to bad signal progression and detours from a road race and a college graduation. At OH 7, I visited the now-closed old bridge by Conneaut, and took I-90 into Pennsylvania to I-79. Unfortunately, a Pennsylvania work zone (close a lane at any time regardless of traffic numbers) cost me another half hour as I headed south to finish clinching the entire route, with a brief detour loop along PA 102. I finally made it down to PA 910 and headed east to former PA 28. In came the rain and the trucks, so all I saw of interest from here was PA 56 to Johnstown, my last clinch of the day, with a detour to Freeport on PA 356 for the old button copy there. By Altoona, I was 2 hours behind schedule so I called it quits, ate some dinner, and came home on I-99 to I-80 to New Jersey to get back. Despite the gloomy weather and, other than Roadhouse 66, a notable lack of good food, I enjoyed my time on this roadtrip and am glad I went.

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