Tennessee Roads - US 11E
All photos courtesy Lou Corsaro.
Old, narrow-shield goodness, southbound at Hillcrest Drive in Johnson City, the turnoff for Eastern Tennessee State University. Now you know.
On the other side of the gantry, the northbound side gets even better signs. I have no way of telling how old the signs are, but the arrows have not been used in many years, and the type of gantry poles used were obsolete by the 1950's (and probably had different signs before these). Notice how different the numerals and letters are on the left sign versus the right sign - squint and you might be able to tell that all of those routes are a patch job. My guess is TN 91 had to be added to the sign at a more recent time. In the most recent times, however, US 23 was rerouted onto the freeway that is now also I-26 (and was for a long time I-181), and US 19W has also moved there. Really, it should just be US 11E to the left and "S.R. 91" to the right. But that would require replacing these beautiful signs.
This has to be a recent sign, because why else would it have an I-26 shield on it? Okay, that's really replacing an I-181 shield, and since I-181 was a north-south route, the sign was perfect back then. Even though I-26 East actually travels slightly West as it moves steadily South, it still requires the additional directional banner. Then, as I said before, US 23 was moved here, further complicating this poor northbound sign. US 19W North joins US 11E straight ahead for a bannered-route multiplex.
Okay, if this sign is the same age as the last one, why does it look even worse? Here's my answer - this originally said I-181 NORTH Kingsport. The I-26 shield fit over the I-181 shield, and then the US 23 shield had to be patched onto the sign. Since directions are now completely obscured, they have to be supplied by the attached banners. I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I can't imagine what other answer/excuse there is.
Into Georgia on US 11
Into Virginia on US 11
Onto TN 91
Onto US 23
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