I'm back with another update here. We're going back and taking a look at Highway 61 and how progress is coming with it. This update will focus on the Department of Transportation's efforts to improve a 3-mile stretch of the highway north of Argentum, in an area known as Gray Creek. Gray Creek is a primarily industrial area, and a dirty one at that. There's also a great deal of farmland in the area.
As you can see from these pre-construction pics, Highway 61 was in very rough shape. (All these pics are facing north )
This is just east of the industrial area:
Here is the rather awkward interchange with Argentum Boulevard (Exit 63), which was formerly the route of Highway 61, before the current freeway alignment bypassed it.
And here's the illogical zig-zagging--this wasn't so much of a problem back when 61 was still a two-lane highway along the Argentum Boulevard alignment.
This is the former interchange with Tarentum Lane, which will be re-routed as part of the project. As you can see, they took quite a few shortcuts with this freeway, not even bothering to grade it properly. You can also (faintly) see where the new alignment is going in.
Now, for the fun stuff. Here's the new alignment being built, alongside the old alignment (to the right) and Edge Road (to the left). (Edge Road, by the way, is named in honor of the member who posted the 200th comment, EDGE4194. )
Here, the southbound traffic has been transferred to the new Highway 61 alignment. The railroad overpass you saw earlier had to be torn out in order to make room for the new alignment. It also needed some significant grade improvements as well.
Here's the finished product:
Here's what's going on with the new Argentum Boulevard interchange. Here's after the overpass has been torn out, to make way for the new alignment.
As you can see in this next image, both sides of the new alignment have been completed up to this point, but are transferring over to the old alignment. There's also a new ramp in place to connect Argentum Boulevard to Southbound 61.
And the finished product. You can also see the old Highway 61 alignment off to the side there.
Finally, a teaser of the next part of the Gray Creek segment of the Highway 61 realignment--the Landry Road interchange (Exit 64). Landry Road is a major farm-to-market road in northern Emerson County, and will become of increasing importance, as it passes by the soon-to-be built Argentum International Airport (ARX). I can tell you there's going to be some interesting things that will be occurring with this interchange . . .