Categories
Announcements News

Social Network With Us

There is a lot of talk these days about the newest revolution on the Internet: Social Networking.  It started with this blog which I use to write not just about the roads across the Commonwealth, but musings about Pennsylvania.  However, other means of social networking have come along since blogs were all the rage.  I began to think how these new tools could benefit Pennsylvania Highways.  So today, on the ninth anniversary of when I purchased the pahighways.com domain, I created a couple new avenues of communication so you can social network with us by tweeting, liking, or watching Pennsylvania Highways.

Social network with us via Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Twitter
The new cultural buzz-word.  Everyone seems to be Twittering, from Oprah to Senator John McCain.  I’ve seen other Twitter pages such as CNN’s and the Washington State Department of Transportation’s and thought how it could work for my site.  PennDOT and the PTC do have a system where people can receive text messages; however, it doesn’t have the immediacy of a Twitter post.  So using the WSDOT “template,” I created an account that will not only be used for updates to the site, but news items pertaining to the highway system.

http://twitter.com/pahighways

Facebook
Another phenomenon that seems to have come out of nowhere and taken the Internet by storm is Facebook.  It seems that everyone from 9 to 90 has a Facebook page, even people’s pets!  So I figured why not create a Pennsylvania Highways presence on this platform as well.  Posts will include news articles, website updates, announcements of upcoming road enthusiast meets, and other events.

http://www.facebook.com/pahighways

YouTube
No doubt you have spent time on this site. Probably watching a clip of a skateboarding bulldog while trying not to get caught by the boss.  YouTube is nothing new to the road enthusiast community as others have been recording their journeys and uploading them to this popular website.  So now Pennsylvania Highways has entered the fray. However, trying to find its niche will take a little longer than it took to set the page up. 

One issue is that PennDOT has saved me the work by going ahead and videotaping all state routes.  Another issue is that I need a newer video camera than my family’s circa 1991 Panasonic camcorder that is as big as a half loaf of bread, or just buy the A/V dongle from Hauppauge so I can record the video from it onto my computer’s hard drive.  Basically this idea is still on the burner.

http://www.youtube.com/pahighways

So if you feel like it, social network with us at the links above.

 
Categories
Events News

2009 State College Meet

Today was the second meet in Happy Valley but unlike the first edition, Mother Nature gave us a rain-free day.  I’d like to thank all who attended and for making the trip for the 2009 State College Meet.

The meet began at 12 PM at Hoss’s Steak & Sea on Business US 322 (North Atherton Street).  Food was good as well as the conversations.  Many of the attendees brought road-related materials to peruse as well as to keep:  Steve Alpert – Florida Turnpike maps; H.B. Elkins – new Kentucky and West Virginia maps; and Doug Kerr – Interstate 87 Northway maps. I brought some recent official state maps from Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and of course, Pennsylvania.

Group picture of those who attended the 2009 State College Meet.
Left to right: Oscar Voss, Doug Lowmaster, Mike Barron, John Krakoff, Jeff Kitsko, Doug Kerr, Brian Rawson-Ketchum, Denny Pine, Brian Powell, Scott Onson, and Adam Froehlig

After lunch, we hopped in our cars and drove down via former US 220/US 322 to PA 550. On this road is the location of the first stop on the 2005 Meet tour. It provides a good view of the completed Interstate 99.  Where the two roads cross is where some of the acid rock problems had occurred. The large retaining pond, constructed on the south side of the Interstate to catch acidic run-off, contained a good amount of water.

Continuing down former US 220/US 322, now known as SR 3042, we stopped at the top of Skytop Mountain. This provides a good vantage point which overlooks the Interstate everyone loves to hate.  Construction crews discovered pyritic rock in this area, which eventually stalled work on Interstate 99 until a solution was devised. The plan included removing the disturbed rock and keeping the remainder at the location.  It is easy to see where the undisturbed acid rock is located as it is covered with mesh and rocks to prevent erosion.

We continued on SR 3042 to SR 3040 to Port Matilda, passing through the trumpet interchange where “END” and “BEGIN” signage still exist for Alternate US 220.  I would expect it to be decommissioned before the next official state map. The reason being there is no mention of the route on new signage on Interstate 80 or before the trumpet.

In the now traffic-thinned Port Matilda, we took Interstate 99 north back to State College.  The view from the alignment as it climbs Skytop is fantastic and will be spectacular in Fall.  We got to see in greater clarity the acid rock remediation as we headed back to the restaurant.

A few of the attendees had to leave at this point. The remainder of the group continued into State College on Business US 322 and then north on PA 26 to the southern stub of the Bellefonte Bypass.  It is now a ramp onto Interstate 99/US 220; however, there were plans to continue it south to the end of the US 322 expressway north of Lewistown.

Following northbound Interstate 99/US 220/PA 26, we turned off onto the former route of 26 right before the current interchange with Interstate 80.  There is earth moving taking place for the relocation of Jacksonville Road which is part of the plan for the future Interstate 80/Interstate 99 directional “Y.”

After which we head back to Hoss’s where we said our farewells, and headed to our respective destinations after the 2009 State College Meet.

 
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