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Labor Day 2002 Roadtrip:
Southwest Iowa

I visited my parents over the Labor Day weekend, and in an effort to both avoid excess traffic on I-80 as well as explore more of Southwest Iowa, I visited Decatur, Ringgold, Taylor and Adams County on my return trip. Date: 9/2/02.

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures.

Route: Council Bluffs to Des Moines via IA 92, US 71, IA 83, G30, IA 925, I-80

This sign on IA 92 exiting Council Bluffs has Muscatine on its third line, 264 miles away. According to Iowa DOT sign guidelines, the top line is the next town (Treynor, pop = 950), the second line is the next town with pop > 500 or county seat (Griswold = 1,039), and the last line is the next town with pop > 5,000. Although Muscatine is the biggest (22,697) and last city on IA 92, signs farther east properly list Indianola (12,988), Knoxville (7,731), and Oskaloosa (10,938) on the third line.

Why is Muscatine here? IA 92 must here be classified as an interstate route, where farther east it is an intrastate route. I believe 264 is the farthest distance listed on any distance sign in Iowa.

So Iowa has a new US highway, eh? This sign on IA 925 in Dexter points toward US 80 instead of I-80.
Route: From Des Moines, south on I-35 to Exit 18, Grand River.
This sign for US 6 from southbound I-80/35 wins the award for "Temporary Sign of the Month!" Construction was progressing between the Douglas and Hickman Avenue exits.
Approaching the future Fuller Rd. Intersection on southbound I-35. This will be Iowa's first SPUI!
Grand Avenue exits from I-35. This cloverleaf intersection used to be the eastern terminus of IA 90. The IA 5 banner is new.
Here is the two lane exit for IA 5 from southbound I-35. IA 5 is the new freeway across the southern end of Des Moines. The only remaining ramp from the old interchange was re-routed and closed ten days after my trip.
Ahhhh.... beautiful flyover ramps!
Route: J20 across Decatur and Ringgold Cos. to IA 259 at Tingley.
Old square-green county road signs for J20 in Decatur County.
Signage at the northern terminus of IA 294 in Grand River. More terminus pictures.
More square county road signs follow J20 through Grand River.
A new color scheme for interstates? This county-style arrow is with an I-35 shield at the intersection of J20 and P68 in Ringgold County.
A creative use of county road signs. (I think the white arrows were supposed to be used with the interstate shield in the previous picture!)
The east end of IA 259, entering the Tingley city limits.
Route: US 169 to Mt. Ayr (including visiting former IA 344), IA 2 to IA 66, then J23 to IA 25. South on IA 25 to Blockton & across the border to MO 46 and MO 246.
The northern terminus of IA 66 is at the base of Diagonal's water tower.
Here's the current southern end of IA 25. However, milemarker 8, not zero, is near this intersection. What's going on?
The southern terminus of IA 25 was here in Blockton, eight miles south of the current terminus, until 1984. Although milemarkers were removed from the section south of IA 2, milemarkers north of IA 2 were not rearranged.
In Missouri now, at the eastern terminus of MO 246.
More pix of the east end of MO 246.
The west end of MO 246, at MO 148, about 2 miles south of the Iowa border.
Route: IA 148 to former IA 95 to Carbon, then US 34 to Glenwood, with detours along former IA 155 to Nodawy and IA 115 to Viking St. Park.
Entering Iowa on IA 148. Visible here are the Welcome to Iowa sign and the first IA 148 sign.
The end of IA 49 is just outside of Bedford.
Looks like a Iowa Highway terminus, doesn't it? Well, that's because it used to be! Here is where former IA 95 met IA 148, east of Carbon and north of Corning.
Crossing Old US 34 in Adams County, now H34, north of Nodaway. This roadway has the slight curbs, seen on primary Iowa highways paved in the 1930s, and still seen today here and also on Old US 34 in Monroe County.
Former IA 155 was a spur from US 34 to Nodaway, IA.
I had to wait for this BNSF train heading westbound through Nodaway.
After visiting IA 115's south terminus near Viking Lake S.P., I caught up with the train near Pacific Junction..

Written by Neil Alexander Bratney
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Page Created September 15, 2002.