Alps' Roads Special - Morgantown Road Meet

Morgantown Road Meet, June 18, 2011

I headed down early Saturday morning with contributor Lou Corsaro. There wasn't much time to experiment, so we started with I-78 into Pennsylvania to I-81, exiting at US 30 to check out PA 995, and down PA 75 to MD 57. We then turned west along US 40 and I-68 to Cumberland, following old US 220 to the current route, and then west on MD 135 to MD 39, which became WV 7 and took us to the meet. After lunch, we all headed out on US 19 to Dents Run Covered Bridge, then up some secondary routes to WV 7 and Monongalia SR 39 (Buckeye Rd.) for another unique bridge, with wooden arches. That road continues into Pennsylvania, but the meet quickly turned back down I-79 to US 19 (via Exit 155) and to WV 705 for a clinching drive. From there, we used US 119 to SR 857 and onto I-68 across Cheat Lake to the under-construction WV 43 (Mon-Fayette Expressway, tying into PA 43). We were forced to divert back down to SR 857 during the end stages of construction, and used that opportunity to check out the then-closed and now-demolished Ices Ferry Bridge across Cheat Lake. It also gave us the opportunity for a kickin' meet photo:

In this photo: Janet Fraser, Christopher Del Checcolo, Adam Froehlig, Joe Cernelli, Mike Tantillo, Lou Corsaro, Rob Sargent (photos), the hiding Allen Seth Dunn, Cody Goodman, myself, Leigh Koven and Alison Long with Keith Thomas photobombing, Michael Temme-Soifer, Ginny Goodman, and Brian Powell. Not in this photo: A.J. Bertin. This is the group that then reversed course and headed up SR 857, with a couple of stops and turnoffs to check out WV 43 before it opened, as far as Pennsylvania and Gans Rd. (the beginning of PA 43 at that time). We came back down PA 857 to SR 857 once more, onto I-68, and swept past Morgantown to Fairmont via I-79 to the new WV 273 Gateway Connector, so new that the exit wasn't open yet (we took Exit 135 and looped up Pleasant Valley Rd.). After checking out the I-79 interchange and arch bridge, we headed west on 273, which turns into the "Million Dollar Bridge" to downtown Fairmont. For more Million Dollar Bridge views, we used WV 310 and came down by the waterfront on Water St., also seeing the former Madison St. bridge piers. There was also a nice view of the Marion County Courthouse tower:

From there, it was back to I-79 via WV 273 to CR 31/2, Stoney Rd., and up to Exit 155 for a quick loop to check out a one-lane bridge on Scotts Run Rd. via US 19/WV 7. We returned to Morgantown on WV 100 to 19/7 and parted ways - and I left Lou behind as well. My night ended by taking Kingwood Pike east to WV 7, south on WV 72, east on US 50, and down WV 24 to US 219 and US 33 to Buckhannon. The next morning, I came back up US 119, with a stop for the Philippi Covered Bridge on US 250 (now just the Business Route, though), then traced the remainder of SR 857 through the east side of Morgantown to the west side of Ices Ferry Bridge. I followed the meet route along I-68 to SR 857, but then stayed on PA 857 for a clinch of that route up to US 119. I came back down US 40 to PA 381, into WV briefly on WV 26, and then straight onto PA 281, bouncing along the border before finding MD 42. I made sure to head back up to the I-68/US 219 interchange so that I could clinch US 219 in Maryland, south to WV 24 and back north to US 50, and turned east through Maryland for a clinch. I puttered around a bunch of Maryland routes (MD 560, MD 135 with an MD 38 quick detour, MD 495, and to MD 669 via US 40 Alt.), and then reentered PA on PA 669.
Greenville Rd. took me back to Maryland on MD 546, where I got the small MD 946 out of the way before heading east on I-68 to Exit 33. That gave me a clinch of MD 736, and then it was over to MD 55 via Park Ave. to Cherry Lane and a bit of MD 36. I got MD 638 out of the way (obviously I was clinching my western routes this day), and continued west on US 40 Alt. to MD 36 south. That gave me the opportunity to clinch MD 939, MD 937, MD 935, MD 657, and MD 936; all of those 900 routes are old alignments of 36, which Maryland usually strings together with the same number and different internal letter designations. I hopped along US 40 Alt. once more to the oldest US 40 alignment, MD 734 (Old National Pike east of Frostburg), then went north up MD 36 for a clinch, with a brief detour along MD 47. It was Father's Day and I had not yet seen my father, so the remaining route was straight back along MD 35, PA 96, PA 31, US 30, and PA 56 to I-99 and I-80 back home.

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