Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ignore that big truck headed right at you!

One of the goofier -- and deadly -- concepts in highway engineering was the three-lane highway. Not the three-lane roadways that most of us are used to, with the center lane for left-turns , but highways built with a middle lane for passing in both directions. You're correct, the very idea is mind-numbing. Long stretches of old US 66 west of St. Louis used to be three-lanes. This was not perfectly straight roadway but rather a concrete ribbon that curved, climbed, and descended with every fluctuation in the hilly terrain. There was also a long three-lane stretch south of Austin on old US 81.

Fortunately, the Interstate system removed most of the traffic from these three-lane highways and most were abondoned or repaved as two-lane roads.

You would think that would be the end of it, but you'd be wrong! Never underestimate the Missouri Highway department when it comes to goofy.

The image at the top of the post is not old, it's what MODOT plans to do to 18 miles of Missouri Highway 5 between Camdenton and Lebanon in central Missouri. And, this is my favorite part, rather than call it a three-lane road, MODOT calls this a Shared Four Lane highway. Now that's spin!

1 comment:

Metal Mark said...

Glad I live in the country.