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SW MI - N IN - NW OH - N IN - SW MI - NE OH (was NE OH....)

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  • Marc Fannin
    Note: Some comments below refer to threads in different forums. m.t.r: http://groups- beta.google.com/group/misc.transport.road/browse_frm/thread/821094c284
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 8, 2005
      Note: Some comments below refer to threads in different forums.
      GLR: See the thread tree under the message at

      Marc Fannin wrote:

      > I was able to return to Berrien County, Michigan (southwest corner
      > the lower peninsula). Following are comments. (Anything notable
      > listed is probably included in a prior report - see
      > http://www.roadfan.com/triprep.html . Not all contruction
      > is listed.) To follow along, start at
      > http://tinyurl.com/84t7z or
      > http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=41.639694,-
      > and scroll westward. :)
      > [August 3 and 4 mostly snipped]
      > The report for the rest of the trip (undoubtedly along with half a
      > dozen things I forgot above) will be in a reply to this message, and
      > might include a side trip.

      August 5:

      Route: US-31 SB to I-80/90 EB to SR-15 SB to SR-34 WB to SR-49 NB to
      I-80/90 WB to US-31 NB


      - Formerly IIRC the only Old US-31 marker assemblies in Berrien
      County were at the approaches to the turn in downtown Berrien Springs.
      Now there is an assembly above the destination sign next to the
      preexisting M-139 assembly
      (previously looked like http://www.roadfan.com/meim-139.jpg )
      on the US-31 SB Exit 15 offramp.


      - There still is a "HOOSIER HOSPITALITY IS NO ACCIDENT" black-on-
      white sign on US-31 just past the Indiana line, and it looks like the
      one that's always been there judging from the yellowing.

      - No "control" of controls: At the US-31/I-80/90/Nimtz Parkway
      interchange, the control for US-31 NB from Nimtz as well as on US-31
      mainline is "Michigan"
      but on the Toll Road ramps it's "Niles MI"
      At the next interchange north (Bus. 31/Cleveland/Brick Roads)
      it's "Benton Harbor". This is likely a holdover from when this
      section of freeway only ran north to US-12, but the sign there now is
      brand new (a tipoff was the larger "N" in "NORTH").
      (Aside: The ramps to US-31 in that interchange are labelled on street
      signs as "US 31 NE RAMP" or "US 31 NW RAMP" depending on the corner
      of the flipped diamond
      I'm thinking "N" and "S" rather than "NW" and "NE" would be clearer.)
      The control for US-31 NB in Michigan is consistently "Holland".

      > - The Indiana Toll Road has had its signage upgraded near South
      > Bend/Mishawaka/Elkhart. Approaching Exit 96 (Elkhart CR-17), just
      > the "Elkhart East 1 MILE" sign, was a small supplemental sign
      > mentioning CR 17 and M-217. Finally. Unfortunately, between
      > that that would be the only mention of the routes, and my tourist-
      > distraction looking at the southeast corner of the interchange where
      > there was an animated sign posted and a field being cleared for the,
      > uh, Recreational Vehicle/Motor Home Hall of Fame and Museum (really:
      > http://www.rv-mh-hall-of-fame.org/ ), I looked up just in time to
      > that the BGS at the exit now included a CR-17 pentagon to the left
      > "Elkhart East" (even though Elkhart County doesn't use pentagons)
      > an M-217 marker, Michigan-style (no "M", numbers centered), so my
      > camera wasn't ready. Oops.

      In my defense, I was trying to remember what "RV/MH" stood for, plus
      the leveller was kicking dust onto the Toll Road, so I was looking
      for the source of the dust....

      (BTW, as mentioned elsewhere in the m.t.r thread, there also is now
      an M-217 shield among the ramp signs.)

      > The South Bend/Mishawaka exits sign just
      > before Exit 83 (read on) had also been replaced - before it simply
      > the mileage to the next three exits; now it shows their route
      > and gives the mileage from each exit to two destinations for each (I
      > did get a photo of that).

      See the photo in the aforementioned reply. It actually still only
      identifies the distances to the respective exits from the sign.

      > As mentioned before, a SR-331 sign has been
      > added to the top of the left side of each BGS for Exit 83 (timeline
      > the 331 relocation:
      > http://www.roadfan.com/sbnelkrd.html#331 ). However, I let three
      > pass (1 mile, 1/2 mile, "NEXT RIGHT") before taking a picture of the
      > one right at the exit, so I could get the exit in the background,
      > IT WASN'T THERE. 1-for-3 [jumping up and down in frustration]
      Maybe I
      > can get the two I missed on the way back....

      It wasn't there EB, either, but this time I was prepared, between the
      trip out and the fact that the EB approach is a straightaway, not a
      curve, so I could see farther ahead and got the "NEXT RIGHT" one.

      - I've been spoiled by construction zones in northeasternmost Ohio on
      I-90. When traffic in one direction shares the other direction's
      pavement, the shoulders are repaved and restriped as travel lanes,
      with signs "RIGHT LANE MUST USE SHOULDER". Projects on the Indiana
      Toll Road do it the old-fashioned way, one lane per direction. The
      reason is apparent when reaching the original overpasses: The
      shoulders virtually disappear.

      - Also construction-related: Some states now use "END ROAD WORK"
      instead of "END CONSTRUCTION", presumedly because the sign is
      narrower, and therefore cheaper to produce. Indiana still uses "END
      CONSTRUCTION", but it's now in a narrower typeface, so the sign comes
      out just as narrow anyway....

      - One for the "Same city name, same highway, different state" thread
      on m.t.r: Fremont is a primary destination on I-80/90 in Ohio at SR-
      53, and a secondary one in Indiana at I-69/SR-120/SR-127.

      - I've never mentioned the diamond warning signs at the Toll Road
      eastern toll booth: It's a "road narrows" sign, but both sides widen,
      and dashes are put in the middle to designate lanes (not the exact
      amount, but a generalization). Approaching the booth this sign is
      posted upside down, as appropriate.


      In the dining room of the Burger King on SR-49 at I-80/90, there are
      four side-by-side clocks, one each for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and
      Illinois. (Search the archives for the Indiana DST situation, I'm
      not going to rehash it here)


      August 6 from I-94 at Michigan Exit 39 (Millburg/Coloma):

      Route: I-94 EB to US-23 SB (part with I-475) to I-90 (via Dussel
      Drive/US-20) (part with I-80) to I-490 WB to I-77 NB to I-90 EB


      - Just east of M-140 (Exit 41) on I-94, there used to be a
      destination sign in both miles and kilometers. It's been replaced
      with an ordinary miles-only one.

      - The "Wake up!"-type shoulder rumble strips on I-94 have a short
      intermittent section which goes all the way to the outside edge of
      the pavement. The rest (about 3 lengths per 1 length of the other)
      is ordinary, stopping well short of the pavement edge.

      - The Exit 108 (I-69) "gore" sign is, and has been for a while,
      actually attached to an overpass.

      - A construction sign at the M-199 exit northwest of Albion
      identifies M-199 as "HWY 199". This is the first time I've seen an
      MDOT sign identifying an "M" highway without the "M", even with
      something like "Highway M-xx". Out-of-state contractor, perhaps?

      - All of the diamonds for M-routes on I-94's BGSs that I saw are
      elongated, contrary to what I reported last year. It must be only
      the M-139 shields on US-31
      http://www.roadfan.com/meiex15a.jpg (etc.)
      that I've seen that are right-angle (plus of course the ones on the
      Indiana Toll Road, see above).

      - One BGS east of Battle Creek identifies in its exit tab "EXITS 104-
      103" like an "A-B" (or in this case a "B-A") situation. Looking at
      the interchanges, that's the right call.
      (104 is 11 Mile Road, 103 is I-94 BL/M-96 WB)

      - The pavement markings in handicapped spaces in the I-94 EB rest
      area near Jackson (and presumedly elsewhere in the state) are
      actually mats affixed to the pavement.

      > - Visited the MDOT Coloma Transportation Service Center near
      > I-196/US-31 Exit 1 (Red Arrow Highway, old US-12, ancient US-12/31).
      > Asked what I could get. Was told it was a business office. The
      > but bewildered employee appeased me with a couple MDOT '05's and a
      > couple "Paving the Way 2005" construction brochures. :)

      In contrast, the Jackson TSC on M-106 is identified outright on I-94
      as an official tourist information center.

      - Emergency I-94 ( http://www.roadfan.com/michrdph.html#ei94 ) exists
      past Jackson, almost to Ann Arbor. That's well past most places that
      are affected by [Great] lake-effect snow events.

      - Have the exits on both sides of M-52 always been identified as "Old
      US - 12"? It IS former US-12 of course, but IIRC the signs have not
      identified it as such in the past.

      - There are rectangular "SLOW TRAFFIC ENTERING AHEAD" warning signs
      around Ann Arbor just before merge signs. I'd expect one before the
      onramp to I-94 EB at the west end of Ann Arbor's I-94 BL (and there
      is one, with flashing yellow lights above), but I also saw them at
      State St. There also was one near Jackson. (In addition, the
      Indiana Toll Road had yellow diamond signs with similar messages at
      the onramps from the truck-only parking areas, former service areas,
      just east of the US-131/SR-13 exit.)

      > - Clearview sightings: "Lake Michigan College/South Haven" on
      > I-196/US-31 approaching Phoenix Road (the north end of South Haven's
      > I-196 BL, Exit 20). NB the "South Haven/Next 3 Exits" might also
      > but I couldn't tell for sure.

      More: The Willow Road overpass sign on US-23 SB (but not NB) just
      north of Milan.

      - It looked like the abandoned temporary route of US-23 in Milan was
      (Look just east of the SB onramp, flip over to the topo map for more

      - The single SB onramp only south of M-50 gets me every time.
      This is a complement to a NB only one further north.
      85.083125&spn=0.005337,0.010987 (scroll up)

      - Overpasses on US-23 in this area have a blue rubbery stripe running
      alomg the outsides of the bottoms of the bridge rails.


      - Lots of new BGSs on the I-475/US-23 section. The BGS for US-23 NB
      approaching the I-475/US-23 stack now has "LEFT" (actually more
      straight ahead) in black-on-yellow withing the green field (in Ohio
      this has only been capitalized in white). The SR-2 BGSs gave the
      airplane symbol for the Toledo Express Airport equal billing as the
      SR-2 shield:

      "{2}[Large airplane symbol]
      Airport Hwy"

      And, oh, yeah, more large-letter-first cardinal directions.

      - The I-475/US-23 SB ramps at SR-2 have the same signal cycle as both
      sides of the SR-2/306 interchange in Mentor: There are two offramps
      and one onramp, with one cycle for the offramps and a left arrow for
      the onramp, and the other for through traffic on the cross road. If
      the left is permissive (yield on green ball) and right turn on red is
      allowed from the ramps, this is an efficient cycle.

      > - I-280/SR-420 interchange: Just before the interchange WB, there
      > to be a sign directing travellers "TO {75} NORTH / Detroit",
      > from the fact that the I-75 interchange on the Turnpike is a recent
      > addition, plus, even with the I-75 interchange, I-280 is usually a
      > cut-off. Now, for whatever reason, likely because of the I-280
      > construction over the Maumee River in Toledo (construction of a
      > cable-stayed bridge to replace the existing drawbridge
      > http://www.lookuptoledo.org/ ), the legend has been changed to "TO
      > [420] SOUTH / Stony Ridge". Unfortunately, that's deceptive, as the
      > road south at the exit *is* SR-420.

      As noted in a reply on GLR, EB has I-280 as the only route on the
      main signs, with SR-420 as a supplement (even though both meet the
      Turnpike there), and WB's signs are in a storage yard waiting to be

      > Also, traffic entering the
      > Turnpike WB had been routed onto the new exit ramps, just east of
      > old ones, but WB exiting traffic still used the old ramps. The new
      > entrance ramp went behind the old ramps before merging with the
      > mainline, a configuration that looked like it could be permanent
      > (although I'm not sure it will be since I've never seen maps of the
      > final configuration).

      Looking at it again, the new ramps may be a simple trunpet after
      all. It's just that the jughandle/loop pair to/from the WB lanes
      will be in the northwest corner of the potential new trumpet, while
      the original trumpet has them in the northeast, or IOW the new ramps
      will go where the old ones are already, so they have to work around
      both sets.

      - The I-90 (Exit 142) toll both is undergoing major renovations
      http://www.ohioturnpike.org/alert.html and
      http://tinyurl.com/bgpzc or
      "Turnpike exit a real time killer" (8/3/05)
      but there was no delay since detour signage was all over the place
      (there was a signed I-90 detour but the BGS only said "CONSTRUCTION",
      not "CLOSED", and the booth was open).

      - The dogleg in Cleveland was due to I-90 being closed at the
      Innerbelt Bridge.

      [I accidentally erased most of this once, let's see if I can get the
      rewrite posted]

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