Pennsylvania Roads - US 40

US 40

The "S" Bridge

The most famous designation of US 40 is the National Road, one of the first roads custom-ordered by the national government. Like most 19th-century roads, there are few traces left of the original highway, but what's left is always great and usually lovingly preserved. These signs are WB.

EB and WB on the west side of Washington, at a strange interchange where I-70 WB has two inside loop ramps but no outer finger ramps, so all entering and exiting traffic must cross. It would have been equally easy to flip the ramps, but this was done so that exiting traffic would hit US 40 across from Old Chestnut St. (parts of which were once US 40, actually). I don't think it would have been that hard to fold the ramps into the southwest quadrant together to eliminate the weave.

This railroad trestle is on West Maiden St. west of where US 40 WB curves northward onto Jefferson St. with PA 18 NB.

EB beyond Washington. "Exits A-B" signs around PA indicate that the interchange is freeway-grade even if one of the roads isn't (in this case US 40). PA 43 will soon be completed around the south side of Brownsville; in the meantime, US 40 acts as an unsigned connection between the pieces.

WB keystones in that prolific stretch.

Getting down Market St. in Brownsville after it leaves US 40. Near as I can tell, this was the original route of the National Road, following the Market St. designation to the next bridge downstream. US 40 is boring from the top but impressive below.

Looking north from Market St. along the Monongahela River. The bridge walk is for maintenance only, no tourists. Toward the left of the photo, the pipe stuck to the outside of the beams is for drainage.

Albany Rd. SB, with brickwork juxtaposed against the modern concrete bridge pier.

Looking south at what I believe is the original National Road bridge across the Monongahela.

Looking west at PA 43 construction east of Brownsville. US 40 was recently extended east of PA 166 on Redstone Way, bypassing part of the old National Pike and bringing it directly across the route of PA 43. These are views of the future NB onramp and SB offramp, and the other half of this toll interchange is already functional (as of 2010-2011). Aerial photography has not yet caught up, so I don't know what the next overpass to the west is for - perhaps a pedestrian crossing, or maybe an entrance to a new development.

As US 40 curves around to cross WV 43, these photos look west at the unopen road. The piece west around Brownsville to PA 88 will open in 2012.

WB at the last National Road toll house in PA, just east of Keisterville.

Not quite as old, EB.

Another special desgination for US 40, and it even gets extensions! EB leaving US 119/PA 43.

The Youghiogheny Reservoir is lovingly presrving this original National Road bridge. Photo courtesy Scott Sullivan, who tells me that the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the reservoir for the Pittsburgh area in 1940-41 due to the 1936 floods. Here, a very low tide combines with a drought to uncover a substantial portion of the bridge; don't expect to see anything there normally unless you're a professional diver or a scuba fan.

EB across the reservoir in modern times, looking right and left.

The "S" Bridge

Into West Virginia on US 40
Into Maryland on US 40
Onto I-70
US 40 on Jeff Kitsko's
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