Dec. 28-30 2008

The final part of this 7-part set kicks off going north on the West Virginia Turnpike. Here, the turnpike carries I-64/77. On my 2000 trip to Virginia Beach, I noticed this route had a lot of huge signs that were dark yellow or booger green and featured a Helvetica-like font. Those were gone by 2008, but there were still amusements like this eye-catching warning sign with blinking lights.

Just a bit further on the excellently engineered West Virginia Turnpike.

Green bridges seemed to be all the rage in West Virginia! Exit 85 off the turnpike at the village of Cabin Creek forms a short highway that uses this bridge over the Kanawha River.

The road from exit 85 makes a sharp left angle to use the bridge. This setup is more or less a viaduct. On one side of the river, it accesses WV 61 using a ramp-like connector. At the other side, the road ends at US 60 at another unusual intersection (as one side of US 60 sweeps under the bridge).

I'm guessing this photo is from where the turnpike starts to parallel (but doesn't yet cross) the Kanawha River.

Another green bridge! This span is legendary for carrying the West Virginia Turnpike over the Kanawha River southeast of Charleston. This view is from the turnpike just before the bridge. The ramp in the foreground is probably a rather elaborate one from WV 61.

Going onto the green bridge, we see that US 60 is generally known as Midland Trail in West Virginia just as it is in neighboring states. After this exit, I-64/77 is no longer the West Virginia Turnpike and becomes toll-free.

That exit is also where the Interstate picks up US 60 - which it promptly loses at the very next exit. Here we're on I-64/77 where it goes over a ramp from US 60. The surface road on the far right is Piedmont Road.

Charleston is West Virginia's capital and biggest city. This is northwest on I-64/77 approaching WV 114. The State Capitol's dome peeps up from behind the BGS.

Another view of the gold dome of the West Virginia State Capitol, a building that was completed in 1932.

A video going northwest on I-64/77 in Charleston. I tried to get Charleston's impressive skyline, but that proved difficult in a moving car. This clip goes about to the point where we lost I-77 and stayed on I-64. Downtown becomes visible around :55.

Incidentally, routing of I-64 in Charleston was quite controversial. It may look like an interesting freeway now, but (as with so many other Interstates in other cities) its construction cost some of the city's poorest residents their homes. (I discovered the details only after I made this video.) Construction of I-64 in Charleston lasted from 1971 to 1976.

I-64 goes back over the Kanawha River in Charleston on this distinctive bridge.

This bridge has to be that little rail thingamabob that emerges from between Hunt Avenue and Florida Street and crosses the Kanawha River.

This would clearly be the Patrick Street span that carries US 60 over the mighty Kanawha.

Not the best photo, but this is looking back at some construction along I-64 west of Charleston. This is probably near where I-64 crosses the Kanawha for the third time. It appears as if they're building a whole new roadbed for I-64, and that this elevated surface is part of it.

The fourth and final Kanawha River crossing on I-64. This - the Donald M. Legg Memorial Bridge - is near Nitro, WV.

West Virginia's propensity for green bridges continues. I think I missed this span during my 2007 Huntington trip, but just in case, this is the West Huntington Bridge, which carries US 52 northwest over the Ohio River into Ohio. The span was completed in 1970, and even though it's only a 2-lane bridge, it's effectively part of the West Huntington Expressway - a freeway carrying US 52 through Huntington. (The freeway itself is of an early sort and seems to be not quite up to Interstate standards.)

Going over the Ohio River, looking upstream towards the Robert C. Byrd Bridge. Completed in 1994, that's the span that feeds into 5th and 6th in Huntington.

Northwest on US 52 in Hanging Rock, OH. Here, US 52 is a divided highway paralleling the Ohio River. The rock itself must be the one that hangs off the hill on the right.

I don't know why or how I got this photo, but this appears to be the Ohio River rail bridge at the far east side of Portsmouth, OH - near the mouth of the Little Scioto River. The photo is from US 52.

This would have to be US 52 going under that bridge.

This must be looking back at the bridge. At the same time, we're looking straight ahead on a smaller rail bridge that goes over the Little Scioto. It's to the right of the BGS for the OH 140/South Webster exit. (Most of US 52 in this area is not a full freeway, but it has short stretches that are close to it.)

US 52 in Portsmouth. Truck US 23 south use OH 852, saith the green sign! That sign refers to a bridge to Kentucky.

Finito! Done! Finished! That's all, folks!

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