Jump to content


Photo

9-Foot-Wide Concrete Nr In Illinois


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 mobilene

mobilene

    Road Scholar

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indianapolis

Posted 04 May 2014 - 12:27 PM

Attached File  IMG_0403.jpg   660.18KB   0 downloads

 

I went out on the National Road in Illinois yesterday for the first time since 2007. There were a couple things I wanted to see, including a rumored 9-foot-wide concrete road that is now on private property east of Martinsville. Sure enough, there it was. See the attached photo. If you look on Google Maps in Earth view, you can see it clearly. It's "Farm Ln" on the map. As you can see, the road was rerouted here to cross a railroad track at a safe angle (actually, a grade separation was created) -- and it left this old concrete behind.

 

Elsewhere on the IL NR, you can find segments of this 9-foot-wide road, but it has been augmented with additional concrete strips on either side to bring the road to (probably) 16 feet wide. The 9-foot-wide section clearly didn't work out all that well.

 

I would love to know when this 9-foot-wide concrete was poured.



#2 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 04 May 2014 - 08:18 PM

Jim,

 

Good to see you post!

 

I spotted the road. For others who would like the coordinates they are 39.339247, -87.860487.

 

It looks like maybe they wanted to change where there was a grade crossing into town, but that is only a wild first impression. Am I seeing another segment a little to the west?

 

Maybe I can spot some clues, but you are a better a detective than I am!! Are you stumped, or hoping someone has a quick and easy answer? :)

 

Hope all goes well with you!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road



#3 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 04 May 2014 - 09:08 PM

Jim,

 

Nothing yet. I looked through the easily available construction announcements, but found nothing conclusive. For some reason 1921 shows up a lot in Illinois but that may be nothing more than static, or an artifact of what Google had access to.

 

I would probably look next at construction and engineering magazines because they announced bids.

Did Illinois produce an annual report of the highway department?

 

Dave



#4 mobilene

mobilene

    Road Scholar

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indianapolis

Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:04 AM

It seems clear to me that this road segment was left behind because they wanted to eliminate that awkward (and therefore probably very dangerous) grade crossing. The "new" road curves around and actually runs under the tracks (grade separation).

 

I had a conversation with a lady who lives on the road in Illinois who knew someone who laid bricks on the brick section to the east of here, and I believe she told me that the bricks went down in "about 1920." My guess is that the 9-foot concrete is contemporary to the bricks.

 

I do not know whether Illinois's IDOT predecessor produced an annual report.

 

Here's a cache of historic Illinois road maps: http://www.idaillino...collection/isl9.  The 1921 map shows the NR as "dirt" all the way. The 1922 map does not distinguish road surface types, unfortunately. The 1924 map shows the road as hard-surfaced all the way. So I believe this narrows it down to 1921-24.

 

Here, from my 2007 trip down this road, is what Illinois did to make this 9-foot-wide road viable: add two concrete strips along either side for a two-lane road.

 

2883014431_98c93e7d9c_z.jpgAbandoned National Road by Jim Grey, on Flickr

 

-Jim



#5 mobilene

mobilene

    Road Scholar

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indianapolis

Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:32 PM

P.S. A commenter on my blog left this comment:

 

One other clue to dating of this section. George Stewart says he travelled this section of the National Road in 1919 after WW1 and while Indiana’s road was paved the bottom just totally dropped out at the Illinois line. Also since the old road has continued in use from the west side of Casey( where I grew up) to a couple of miles east of Martinsville the original bridges were still in use when I started driving. The date plates had them built in 1920. It was interesting on the old 16 foot wide pavement to meet the daily Greyhound bus on that road. Just east of Martinsville old 40 makes a swing to the north and goes under the PA RR. East of this you can see where the original National road went straight west towards Martinsville and had a 9 foot wide concrete slab. East of where old 40 rejoins “new”40 you can see that they added concrete strips on either side of the 9 foot strip for several miles to widen it to probably 16 foot wide. It’s funny that around 1955 “new “40 was completed and they still call it that… But then in Casey the high school gym was built in 1927 and is still referred to as the “new” gym.



#6 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 05 May 2014 - 05:20 PM

Jim,

 

The 1922 ABB reports the road between Terre Haute and St. Louis is concrete all the way, except for a very few stretches which are rapidly being completed. And it notes that when the scout car went through there was several sections under construction.

 

The Illinois Annual Highway Report covering 1922 reports on their map that "narrow pavement" is complete through Clark County (where Martinsville is).

 

I will see if I have the 1920 or 1921 ABB for that section. But it sure looks like it was paved by 1922. I'm going to bet 1920 or 1921, but I'll see if my guesses are confirmed in the record. And BTW there are at least some annual reports for Illinois.

 

Dave



#7 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 05 May 2014 - 05:41 PM

Jim,

 

The 1920 ABB indicates that after 17 miles of gravel to the west of Terre Haute, the road is dirt for 160 miles, with a few short sections of concrete.  It also notes two RR crossings, One at .1 miles east bound and the other at ,7 miles east.

 

I haven't found a 1921 ABB  yet for that area, but I might have one.  At the moment it would be safe to say it was paved in concrete in 1921, and given the scope of the projects involved, you might find specific contracts, either in the Illinois annual reports, or in any one of the road construction magazines for the period.

 

I believe I noted that in 1922 Illinois was specifying 18 ft roads (as per the annual report).  So I continue to think 1921.

 

Dave



#8 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:29 PM

Jim,

 

The Concrete Highway Magazine for January - February 1921 shows a paving completed map by section in the area you are viewing.  You may want to take a look.  I searched Google Book, free e-editions.  If it doesn't pop up, I have downloaded it and can forward it 

 

I suspect given the volume of Illinois construction in 1920-21 you could find the actual bid announcement in one of the road construction or concrete related magazines....but I will leave that to you.

 

Hope that helps! :)

 

Dave



#9 mobilene

mobilene

    Road Scholar

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1,229 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Indianapolis

Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:39 AM

This is perfect Dave! I found that resource on Google Books. I keep forgetting to search there. Such a valuable resource.

 

I also found there some Illinois Dept of Highways reports from the early 20s. The photos in those are fascinating. There's one photo there of a crew widening a 10-foot road to allow 2 lanes of traffic. So clearly Illinois build these narrow roads in several places. There are no references to a 9-foot-wide concrete road, so perhaps this segment I've photographed is actually 10 feet wide. I didn't exactly get down and measure it! 

 

What is clear from these DOH reports is that Illinois was road-building crazy in the early 1920s!

 

Interesting to me that the 1922 ABB says concrete all the way when between the state line and about Clark Center the road was paved in brick. But whatevs -- it was still a hard surface.



#10 Keep the Show on the Road!

Keep the Show on the Road!

    King of the Road

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,715 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Puget Sound

Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

Jim,

 

I don't think your measurement is wrong.  In looking through the Illinois annual reports, I think perhaps for 1920 or 21, there is a table that shows the construction for some counties.  I, noted some 9 foot wide construction.  And 9 feet is half or their 18 foot standard in 1922.  And. if I recall, the map I cited said single width all the way, which would be 9 feet.

 

Fun research.  Thanks for the opportunity!

 

Don't be a stranger!

 

Dave



#11 beckyrepp

beckyrepp

    Roadie

  • Root Admin
  • PipPip
  • 469 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Road trips, dachshunds, coffee and chocolate.

Posted 28 June 2014 - 09:48 PM

Great sleuthing!






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users