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  1. #1

    Default Fun with odometers, GPS, and maps

    Here in North Carolina, a brand-new segment of I-40 opened recently. It completes a southern bypass of Greensboro. The new route is now officially I-40 and is 4 miles longer from east to west than old I-40 was.

    With exit numbers corresponding to mile markers, and with mile markers starting at zero on the Tennessee border, the question becomes "what to do with mile markers from the western end of the new bypass all the way to Wilmington, NC, where I-40 ends?". One option would be to renumber every milepost and exit for some 220 miles or so. Another option would be to "fudge it" around Greensboro.

    And fudge it we did. The mile markers along the new stretch of I-40 are "some 1.1 to 1.6 miles apart" according to the NCDOT, allowing for a count of 15 miles from the western side of Greensboro (which is what the old highway did) within the actual 19 miles traversed by the new route.

    Now THAT ought to have the map scale readers, GPS software updaters, and all sorts of travelers just a bit baffled for some time to come, eh? So much for determining one's odometer error on a "long stretch of Interstate highway", too.

    Foy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Interesting tidbit!

    I actually never figured that the mile markers along the highway are exact anyway. I always thought they were just kinda-close to a mile in-between. The reason why I've thought that is because there are places along the highway, at least here in the PNW, where there will be a sign saying "Odometer Check" and "Checkpoint End" (or something like that) and I've always figured those areas have been exactly measured.

  3. #3
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default That's not as confusing

    Another interesting tidbit about Interstates: Interstate 17 has no 0 mile post. In fact, it starts at MP 194! Think that's weird enough, Interstate 19 uses the Metric System!

    Oh, Arizona... home of the oddballs!

  4. #4

    Default Agreed

    I'm in agreement with Judy in that I don't expect the distances between each and every milepost to be spot-on a mile. But, I do expect, and have generally determined, that small local variations are averaged out over, say, a 25-30 mile stretch. This new scheme would make that impossible.

    And AZBrad, I took a glance at the AZ roadmaps and can't immediately see why I-17 would start at mile 194, I guess in Phoenix, right? It seems too close to Mexico to be a continuation of mileage from Nogales, up I-19. Might there be plans on the long-term books to run an Interstate up the present AZ 80 corridor from around Bisbee? That might match up better with PHX being mile 194.

    Foy

  5. #5
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default From Arizona Roads

    One of my FAVORITE road-geek websites, Arizona Roads, had this to say about I-17's Mileage posts.

    I-17's mileposts begin at 194, which suggests that it is an extention of I-19. Not quite. I-17 inherited its mileposts from AZ 69. So where did AZ 69 get its numbering? Arizona usually begins a new highway's mileposts equal to the milepost on the number of the highway it branches from. AZ 69 intersected old US 89 at milepost 201. When I-17 was extended south, the numbers were continued back to 194. Because US 89 began at Nogales, the same place I-19 starts, the numbers almost line up.
    There are plans that have been recently published that call for a new freeway bypassing Casa Grande and most of Tucson, as well as Phoenix. It'll be an eon before they're built though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by Foy View Post
    I'm in agreement with Judy in that I don't expect the distances between each and every milepost to be spot-on a mile. But, I do expect, and have generally determined, that small local variations are averaged out over, say, a 25-30 mile stretch. This new scheme would make that impossible.
    I'd expect that, too. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I wonder why they're so worried about adding 4 miles to the length of that trip? Odd.

  7. #7

    Default Road geeks, signage

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    I'd expect that, too. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I wonder why they're so worried about adding 4 miles to the length of that trip? Odd.
    Judy- And I didn't make it clear that nobody I'm aware of is making more than a little fun at NCDOT over the 1.1 to 1.6 mile "miles". I just thought it was a clever and humorous way to avoid the kind of signage dilemma which must occur regularly across the nation.

    AZBrad- There are many such highway sites. Virginia Highways and NC Highways are among them and contain links to many others, especially in the east coast states.

    Foy

  8. #8

    Default road signs and mile markers

    There is a stretch of state highway near me that has an interesting bit of signage on it. It took me a while to realize this. Travelling north the sign says it is ten miles to the next town. Travelling south along the same stretch back, the two towns are only nine miles apart. Kind of makes ya wonder, huh?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default 9? 10? Just drive faster going the long way. LOL

    Oh, I think the whole thing is funny myself. It just seems odd that they are trying to hide the fact that the new route is a tad longer. Goofy stuff.

    I'll stick to checking my speedometer with my GPS. :)

  10. #10

    Default Goofy signage

    Quote Originally Posted by galaxie50059 View Post
    There is a stretch of state highway near me that has an interesting bit of signage on it. It took me a while to realize this. Travelling north the sign says it is ten miles to the next town. Travelling south along the same stretch back, the two towns are only nine miles apart. Kind of makes ya wonder, huh?
    Yeah, the "Virginia Highways" website has a photo gallery of goofy signage. Some of it's really goofy yet has been up for many years. VA routes on US route signs, and vice versa, silliness like that.

    There's a segment of I-64 in the southeast corner of Virginia (collectively called "Tidewater" and consisting of Norfolk, Va Beach, Portsmouth, etc, etc) where the "East" and "West" designations had to be removed entirely. I-64 runs from Richmond through Tidewater and there terminates. Richmond to the termination is east. But, the last 10 to 12 miles of "I-64 East" run due south, then due west. The old US highways more or less paralleling I-64 are US 58 and US 460. From the point at which I-64 terminates, there are junctions with US 58 and 460. They both run east from there, in compass and directional sign senses, while getting on I-64 there has you enter I-64 West as you parallel the other two routes. The locals finally just took down the East and West signage and now simply refer to "I-64: Richmond" or "I-64: Suffolk".

    Foy

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