Alps' Roads Special - Buffalo Road Meet
Buffalo Road Meet, October 18, 2008
This marked by far the farthest I have driven for a road gathering in a single day. The route out started in Highland Park, following Suttons Lane and S. Randolphville Rd. to I-287 to I-78, to the US 22 free bridge into PA. The route stayed fast on US 22 to I-78, I-81, I-83, and PA 581. So the interesting part of the route actually started in Harrisburg. I added to US 11/US 15 mileage up to US 22/US 322, and then took PA 147 to Susquehanna Trail (the road supplanted by I-180) into Williamsport. After following US 15 to US 6, I was hit by a closed bridge in Port Allegany and had to detour up north to get back to Smethport. Since I would be missing that section of 6 anyway, I decided to follow PA 59 to the back entrance to Kinzua Bridge State Park and the old railroad bridge there that was partially destroyed by a tornado. From there to Buffalo the route was US 219 into New York to Springville, NY 39 to NY 240, US 20A to NY 16, and NY 400 to I-90. I found time to follow I-290 to I-990 and drive the nation's highest-numbered Interstate, but then it was to the hotel by cutting across to NY 78 and heading south.
There was a little leftover time on Saturday morning, so Dan Garnell led a short expedition out via I-290 to I-190, retracing NY 400 to US 20A to the meet. The following crowd assembled there in the Zebb's parking lot:
Myself (NJ), Dan Garnell (MI), H.B. Elkins (KY), Doug Kerr (NY, the organizer), John Krakoff (NY), Chris Jordan (NY), and Adam Moss (NJ).
The meet left on NY 179 to NY 5 and the Buffalo Skyway reconstruction. The tour then proceeded to the area of the Peace Bridge for photos and discussion of topical issues (i.e. proximity to Canada, bridge construction, the Niagara Spur of the Thruway). The route continued via NY 198, the Scajaquada Expressway, following NY 33 south through Buffalo on Oak St. to I-190, US 20, and back to Zebb's. Then came the after-meet tour, up NY 240 to Ridge Rd. and I-90 to US 219. We followed 219 south to Springville and the future freeway extension to the south, getting close-up looks of the arch bridge in progress. The route back focused on the old (surface) 219 and some Cattaraugus County routes: CR 12 and the hyphenated routes CR 86-1 and 86-2. NY 240 was the link that took us back up to US 62 and again to Zebb's, where the meet attendees finally parted ways. Dan, Adam, and I grabbed dinner at:
the Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo wings and why they are not made with actual buffaloes?
Before I headed home, the next morning consisted of a side trip to Niagara Falls for the first time in over 20 years. The route was I-190 across Grand Island, including West River Parkway and NY 324 (the only state-maintained highways on the island), then NY 18F to the end and back down on Robert Moses State Parkway. Stops included Whirlpool State Park and the American side of Niagara Falls, with a road-related treat in Niagara Reservation State Park - the old route of Robert Moses State Pkwy. by the Falls. Now there's actually a gap in the Parkway connected by NY 384. I followed NY 384 to the east end of the LaSalle Expressway and made a few signage runs as I kept discovering and barely missing the button copy. Luckily, it's a very short, stubby freeway. I came back to Niagara Falls on Robert Moses State Pkwy. and started home on US 62.
As detours from US 62, I visited Ellicott Creek Rd. (former NY 356) for the square I-290 shields in Tonawanda and detoured down NY 16, NY 400, and US 20A for some NY 20A error shields I had noticed and missed over the weekend. Otherwise, the route from 62 was NY 17/I-86 east, stopping in Olean for old shields on NY 417 and NY 16, and following NY 415 alongside the part of NY 17/I-86 I had already clinched. I redrove the now-completed Horseheads Bypass from the Elmira Meet and followed NY 14 into PA 14. The remainder of the route: PA 154, US 220, PA 42, PA 239, and PA 93 (with some confusion due to an unsigned turn on 239 in Wapwallopen, but I came back to clinch it). I abandoned plans to take PA 940 due to time (also came back to clinch it after many years of intent) and came back to Highland Park on I-81, I-80 into NJ, and US 206.
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