Alps' Roads Special - Wausau Road Meet

Wausau Road Meet, October 1, 2011

Wausau's far enough that I took two days to get out there and two days back, but not so far that I had to go the direct route. I went west on I-80 well into Pennsylvania to US 220, west on PA 150, and up a couple of local roads (including Monument Orviston Rd., former PA 364) up to PA 144. That took me to PA 120, where I went west to PA 555, PA 255, and US 219 north to PA 830 and PA 950. That took me back to US 322, and I hopped on I-80 for a bit to get over to PA 68 for a drive down PA 58. I ran through Pittsburgh on US 19 down to US 40 and west on PA 18 to PA 331 via PA 844. I explored the PA 331 dead ends from the never-replaced bridge and ended up on WV 67, which I took to the end and up back roads to WV 27, back to Pennsylvania. Via a few fractional routes, I ended up with a clinch of WV 88 and poked around US 40 for an old shield and an old bridge. I hopped on and off I-70 and I-470 into Ohio on US 40, following its old alignments wherever possible and I-70 otherwise. Once I got to Columbus, I got back on I-70 for good and stayed just across the border in Indiana.
Friday dawned, and with it, a straightforward trip west on I-70, I-65, and cutting the corner to I-74 via 38th St. and I-465. It's a good thing I went that way, because the through route of 74 West from 465 North was blocked by construction. I continued into Illinois to I-55 and up to I-39 for a clinch. That took me to I-90, which I've already been on, so I avoided the toll and ducked into South Beloit on Perryville Rd., IL 173, and IL 251, before returning to the freeway via US 51. Entering Wisconsin, I followed I-90 (with I-39) to Madison and explored the city for a little while: US 151, University Ave. for some old signs, back to 151, US 12/US 14 WB for some button copy, and back into the city on University Ave. EB. I put in a couple of hours of work at the local office, and finally set off back up US 151 during a relatively calm rush hour and east on WIS 30 to I-39, all the way up to Wausau, where I stayed near US 51 and WIS 52. That allowed me to walk to the meet restaurant, where I downed some cheese curds with the friendly meet crowd. We set off down Stewart Ave. (former WIS 29, came back on modern 29, and found a spot to check out the new US 51/WIS 29 interchange. That's where we snapped this meet photo:

In back: The WIS 29 EB ramp to US 51 NB. In front: the US 51 SB ramp to WIS 29 WB. Standing: David Feryance, me, Brandon Gorte, A.J. Bertin, Michael Koerner, Sam Scholtens, and Boeing jetliner Chris Lokken. Not standing: Scott Onson.

From there, the meet headed south to the old McCleary Bridge, now just a residential dead-end but once CTH N (and still signed as such on at least one street blade!). We continued over the new bridge on CTH N to see an error sign (upside-down Signal Ahead) and backtracked via CTH NN to I-39/US 51 SB for quite a ways to the newly completed US 10 freeway. It was so new that signing hadn't caught up yet, with signs patched over other signs and shields covered over. After the temporary end of the freeway, we continued tracing the future route of US 10 to Marshfield, and headed in on WIS 13 (also under construction at the time with a new alignment, Veterans Pkwy.). Running short on time, we came back on WIS 97 to WIS 29, but not before a 15-minute detour up to the monument marking the crossing of the 45th latitude and 90th longitude:

The actual spot is in someone's farm, 100-200 feet from here, but okay, here's the survey marker, so let's pretend. That was pretty much it for the meet, so I'll skip to Sunday, where I started back east via WIS 52 to WIS 32, then east on US 8 to Michigan. US 8 ends at US 2, which I followed east through the entire Upper Peninsula to I-75, and south over the Mackinac Bridge. I followed the coast on US 23, then headed south on M-13 to Flint, where I stayed off of I-69. That's where I picked up in the morning, heading east on I-69 to former M-21, finishing my clinches of Business I-69 and I-94 in Port Huron, and entering Canada on Highway 402. With a brief detour down Highway/Elgin CR 4 for some old signs, I finished off 402 and took Highway 401 to Highway 403, into Toronto on the QEW to Highway 427. At the end of the 427, I circled around on Regional Road 50, past the airport, and onto Highway 409, the shortest signed freeway in the Greater Toronto Area. After that hit Highway 401, I turned around to the 401 west, clinched Highway 403, and followed Lakeshore Rd. as an alternative to the QEW and for a better view of the Burlington Bay crossings. I did have to enter the QEW eventually, and started speeding my ride home via I-190 to I-90 and the New York Thruway. I exited at I-490 and followed NY 96 all the way south until it ends. Not content to rest with sunset, I turned onto NY 434 and took Pennsylvania Avenue into that state to clinch PA 858. My route home ended with PA 706 to PA 367, US 6, and I-81 to I-380 to I-80 and home. A long trip, but a lot of new ground covered. Now it's time for bed.

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