It’s that time of the year when I receive in the mail a copy of the new 2006 official road map. The following are the changes since the 2005 edition:
Erie County/Erie Inset PA 290 now signed on the Bayfront Connector and East 12th Street between Interstate 90 and Interstate 79.
Jefferson County PA 949 extended from its previous terminus in Corsica south to Summerville
Lehigh County/Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Inset PA 100 removed from Trexlertown Road through Trexlertown and signed on its bypass
Mifflin County Northern Lewistown Bypass completed with US 22 rerouted off of William Penn Highway, Fourth Street, and Juniata Street through the borough and Business US 22 signed to take its place
Tioga County US 15 (I-99) under construction from PA 287 to PA 49
Those are all the changes to the 2006 official road map. It seems that practically every state agency has some advertisement on the back of the map now. I am surprised that one of those advertisements was not for our new Gaming Control Board in order to get people ready to drop some money at one of our casinos. Whenever we get them. I guess we just have to wait for that to come in a future edition.
The final day of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet featured differing modes of transportation. We started by taking PA 60 into the city for a cruise on the Gateway Clipper to see some of the numerous bridges as well as some of the sights along the Allegheny River. Afterwards, we had lunch at the Red Star Tavern in Station Square. It is here where I had announced a mere 364 days earlier of my intention to hold a National meet.
Back on land, we turned back to the west to take in PA Turnpike 576 at the US 30 interchange. Once on the expressway right-of-way itself, I heard what sounded like a car traveling at a quick pace. Turning around as we headed northbound, I didn’t see anything until I looked over the median mound that is common-place on Turnpike Commission extensions, only to see the “Christmas Tree” light bar of a State Police cruiser. He caught up to us and only said to turn around; however, I was only yards away from getting Adam Prince the first PA Turnpike 576 northern terminus picture. Despite not seeing the northern terminus, but considering the alternative, we were very fortunate. Sheesh, even on foot, I get pulled over by the Pennsylvania State Police!
The final event of the three-day meet was to take in a ball game at the site of the 77th All Star Game at PNC Park. Surprisingly, the Pirates managed to win 3-2 over the Saint Louis Cardinals, while the Steelers were playing NFL’s version on the same day lost.
After the game, we returned to the Comfort Inn on Steubenville Pike, where I thanked all for attending and being part of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet. Then we called it a night and went on our respective ways.
States represented/number attended: California – 1 Georgia – 1 Kentucky – 1 Maryland – 1 Michigan – 2 New York – 2 Pennsylvania – 2 Tennessee – 2 Virginia – 1 West Virginia – 1
Today was the second day of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet. We began the day at Primanti Brothers on PA 60/Steubenville Pike in Robinson Township. Everyone seemed to enjoy this slice of Pittsburgh. I highly recommend stopping to have a Primanti’s sandwich…or a Roethlis-burger at Peppi’s. That is, unless of course you’re a Cleveland Browns fan.
After that, we jumped in our vehicles and traveled down PA 60 to Crafton to see the Industrial Highway. It is the remnant of one of the many cancelled highways in the Pittsburgh area. It now serves as an access road for businesses along Chartiers Creek.
Following that stop, we headed back north on PA 60 to Interstate 79 south. The first official stop was to visit the Pittsburgh Regional Traffic Management Center. It is located at the PennDOT District 11-0 office in Bridgeville. On the way, we saw some of the Interstate 79 reconstruction taking place south of the Parkway West interchange.
Dominic Munizza of PennDOT gave us a tour of the center, and showed us features of the Intelligent Transportation System, or ITS, network. He gave demonstrations of the Variable Message Sign (VMS) boards, as well as the Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) system. We also got a demonstration of the cameras that line the expressways. In fact, we happened to arrive at the TMC just after legendary Pittsburgh Steelers broadcaster Myron Cope was involved in an accident at the Banksville Road interchange.
The group met for dinner at a restaurant with a road theme: Quaker Steak & Lube. We ate at the Point at North Fayette location. Afterwards, we took to our vehicles and headed into the city to check out the view from Mount Washington. It is the hill that overlooks the “Golden Triangle.”
That marked day two of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet.
Pennsylvania has been the site of many firsts, such as the first computer (Philadelphia) and first commercial radio station (Pittsburgh). It was also the site of the first road enthusiast meet (Greensburg). So what a better place to hold the first National Road Enthusiast Meet than where it all began.
The first day was a journey back in time with some aspects of the present. I and four attendees traveled the Lincoln Highway from Robinson to Somerset County. Brian Butko, author of several books on the Lincoln Highway and other road-related products, joined us for part of the trip.
We began our trip by taking PA 60 from the US 22/US 30 cloverleaf in Robinson Township into Pittsburgh, then heading south on PA 837 to the Fort Pitt Bridge. Once across the bridge, we exited at the Boulevard of the Allies and followed that back to the Parkway East. Taking the US 30 exit, we followed it to Greensburg where we then traveled on Toll Gate Road to enter the city, as those who traveled then PA 1 did many times. On the eastern side of the city, we followed old segments near Westmoreland Mall, Hyundai of Greensburg, and a long section known locally as Frye Farm Road.
South of Latrobe, we turned onto PA 981 south to access the old alignment. We spotted a rare Lincoln Highway marker located on the front lawn of a home in Youngstown. Shortly after, the caravan passed Latrobe Country Club, whose proprietor is professional golfer Arnold Palmer. Our cruise continue on the old alignment through the borough and to where it joins the current eastbound lanes.
We stopped at the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor office in Ligonier where a few picked up some Lincoln Highway merchandise. Continuing eastward on US 30 we stopped at the Flight 93 Memorial and the site of the Quecreek Mine Accident.
I offered to show everyone the Sipesville Fire Hall, where the families waited for word of their trapped relatives. While we were waiting, a member of the Sipesville VFD stopped and asked us if we wanted to see inside. It was quite a change from when I was an extra back in 2002 in The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story. Afterwards we were privileged to be offered a tour of the new hall which was built as a replacement. Plans were to move the original building to the Quecreek site as part of a display. However, the building can not make the journey in one piece, but rather would have to be cut into four sections. Unfortunately, the choice will probably be to demolish the structure instead.
That marked day one of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet.