Historic Concrete Pavement on Old 61 Revealed!!

September 28, 2011

Jeff Wulke was kind enough to share the following photos of what is now Chisago County Road 30 (former MN 361, U.S. 61) between Rush City and Pine Creek, where crews have temporarily stripped away the asphalt to reveal the historic original concrete pavement from the 1920’s!! The concrete was poured back in 1927 as part of the first paved highway between the Twin Cities and Duluth, and was covered when the road was widened and rebuilt in 1954. As you can see from the photos, the old road is in remarkably good condition. This stretch was recently turned back to county authorities after remaining under state jurisdiction as State Highway 361 for many years after I-35 was built to fulfill a legal obligation dating back to 1921 to have a trunk highway passing through the city limits of Rush City, which has since been expanded to encompass I-35. Many thanks again to Jeff for the photos!!

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U.S. 65 asks: “why does U.S. 61 get to have all the fun?”

August 7, 2011

The first of many new articles on historic U.S. 65 is now up over at the U.S. 65 project! I’ve been sitting on quite a few photos I took last year, and I thought it was time to let U.S. 65 get out from under U.S. 61’s shadow. The first article gives a photo-tour of the old road between Albert Lea and the Iowa border.

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North Shore Madness!!

July 10, 2011

Over the last month, I’ve been adding photo-articles on the historic alignments and bridges along the North Shore Scenic Highway between Duluth and Little Marais to the U.S. 61 Project. In all, there are 22 new photo-articles to check out! The photos in the articles were taken in a two-day period back in April, 2010. See the links below:

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Finally! The New U.S. 61 Interactive Map is DONE!!

May 25, 2011
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After months of work and technical setbacks, I have finally finished the year-by-year data for the U.S. 61 interactive map. I have also cleaned up and updated the whole U.S. 61 section, wrapping the old historic alignment and roadside sections into one called “Articles“.

For those of you not familiar with the other “year-by-year” maps on the site, this data allows you to see the alignment and paving status of the road in any given year. Changes completed that year are also available for comparison so you can see which sections of road were bypassed or paved each year. A new feature I’ve added with this map is the “Compare-a-Year” feature, which allows you to add the alignment from another year. Finally, an “Articles” layer had been added that allows you to see the locations of all the U.S. 61 articles I’ve posted over the years.

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New U.S. 52 map, and future updates

January 29, 2011

Hello, haven’t updated the blog in awhile, but wanted to let anyone who still checks it what’s going on with the site right now.

About a month ago, I added a new interactive map displaying the history of U.S. 52’s route through Minnesota. I was pretty happy with how it turned out, so I am in the process of trying to get the maps on the older U.S. Highway projects (U.S. 61, 65, 8, and 16) up to the same standard. Its been slow going, however. I’m plugging away on U.S. 61 first, but I don’t expect it to be done for a couple more months. The other routes will follow.

In other news, I’ve been continually going through all of my old highway photos from the past 6 years and uploading them to Flickr (I love Flickr’s geotagging and mapping feature). The photo stream will be continually updated, and will be the first place photos from my highway expeditions show up. The photostream is accessible directly from the main page at deadpioneer.com.

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U.S. 61 Page Update and New Articles

June 21, 2010

Just finished a major update to the U.S. 61 section of the page to bring it up the snuff with the new routes being added. I also threw in a couple of brand new articles on old alignments along the north shore for good measure (click on the sample photos below to see them).

Back in April I undertook my first “overnight” expedition, photographing old alignments along the north shore for two days, with a night out in Two Harbors in-between (watch out for those $1 PBR’s, they’ll kill ya!) I have a ton of photos and articles to add in the next couple of months, so rest assured, these two are just the tip of the iceberg!

Gitchi Gami Trail at Tofte

Gitchi Gami Trail at Tofte

Private Driveway at Tofte

Private Driveway at Tofte

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Please Welcome U.S. 8!

March 5, 2010
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I am happy to report that the new U.S. 8 page is up and running! Check it out!

In other news, the melting snow has me itching to get back on the road and get some more photos to add to the page. I am hoping to implement a new way to share these photos, so keep your eyes peeled for more big updates in the next few weeks.

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Introducing the new U.S. 65 page!

February 20, 2010
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After several months of work, I finally have the new U.S. 65 pages ready for public consumption! I used a very different approach than I did with the U.S. 61 project. This time, the pages are built around a couple of dynamic maps created using KML and the Google Maps API that allow you to freely explore the historic route without having to wade through pages of narrative. The project includes a normal map showing the surviving historic alignments, and a new feature that allows you to see U.S. 65’s route in a given year!

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The New Guide to Driving Old 61 Between the Twin Cities and Duluth

January 17, 2010

The Old Soo Line Trestle in Moose Lake.

The Old Soo Line Trestle in Moose Lake.

Its finally done!! I have finally posted my guide to driving Old 61 between Wyoming and the St. Louis County Line! It includes numerous maps, and nearly 100 photos taken in the last few months on my visits to the old highway. Enjoy!

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New Article: Westgate Boulevard, Duluth

January 8, 2010

I have just added another article to the U.S. 61 Project on Westgate Boulevard in Duluth. This was one of my favorite old alignments of U.S. 61 to visit, due to an unexpected marker dedicating its construction in 1924, plus the great views of Duluth Harbor and the pleasant walk through the woods it provided after a long drive. Click the photo below to check it out!

westgate-02

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