Alps' Roads Special - Elmira Road Meet

Elmira Road Meet, September 30, 2006

Chris Jordan tells you to proceed with caution...

To get to the Elmira Road Meet, I left New Jersey at the crack of dawn via I-280 and I-80. I took Exit 12 to CR 521 south, heading straight onto CR 519 before turning onto the lovely narrow Sarepta Road. Sarepta ends at US 46, where I jogged right to Water Street, which crosses the Riverton-Belvidere Bridge into Pennsylvania. Via River Rd. and Riverton Rd., I followed the Delaware River north into PA 611, and headed toward Scranton via I-80, I-380, and I-84. I took I-81 south one exit to the Central Scranton Expressway, and proceeded to get lost in Scranton while looking for the North Scranton Expressway. Finally, after being directed southward on Main St. to get to US 11 (which it doesn't connect to), I found a map and headed north (as was the plan) on US 11, through the I-476 trumpet, and back onto I-81. Into New York, I decided to take a new look around Binghamton, having not been in the area for years. I followed NY 7 north until it joined I-88 and turned east, then U-turned where 7 leaves 88. The rest of the route in Binghamton: I-81 south to NY 7 south, straight onto NY 363, and then onto NY 434.

Here I joined Dylan, and we took NY 201 north to NY 17 west toward Picnic Pizza. There was some unexplained traffic approaching Horseheads (could it be due to at-grade intersections? Nah...), so we headed off NY 13, using E. Franklin St. to Main St. and then south on NY 14 to the meet. We join the beginning of the meet in progress, where people were eating pizza and Chris was giving away maps like paper was going out of style. With me and Dylan now in Doug's car, the trail of cars (all three of them) headed east on 17 to the beginning of the meet: the Horseheads Bypass. We walked around the elevated freeway that is set to open in under a year, eliminating one of the last at-grade sections of NY 17 as it becomes I-86, and then went west on 17 to US 15. This is where the meet photo atop this page was taken, and we shot the breeze about the future of this interchange. Yes, we're serious about roads. The third attraction was the US 15 freeway in Pennsylvania, set to connect the northern end of the current freeway to New York's freeway as I-99 winds its way up PA. We stopped at two consecutive cross-streets (PA 49 and Bliss Rd.) near the NY border, then headed farther south to the Tioga Reservoir and the US 15 visitor center (located on the actually open freeway overlooking the old highway). Then it was back to Picnic Pizza via PA-NY 328, NY 14, NY 352 and NY 17 (the old route of the NY 14 Elmira bypass that 17 took over), and back on NY 14.

At the interchange of US 15, NY 417, and NY 17/I-86/NY 15 (NY 15 is the northward continuation of US 15). From left to right: Chris Jordan, John Krakoff, Dylan Lainhart, Doug Kerr (the ringleader), Mark Sinsabaugh, Mike Tantillo, Steve Alpert (me!). Click for closeup.
Thanks to Dylan, the attractions of the day were far from over. He, Doug, and I continued our own meet by first heading over to NY 13 to explore both ends of the old alignment that has been covered by a small reservoir. We then went south to the NY 352 exit on NY 17, and took Chemung county routes 1, 2, and 60; the latter is the old two-lane 17. We dipped into Pennsylvania again on NY 34 (aka PA 199), then followed NY 17C to NY 282 and former NY 283 (since partially covered over by a piece of 17). We connected the two pieces of old 283 as best we could, and followed NY 434 (old 17 after crossing the Susquehanna River) back to Binghamton for some local roadgeeking. The highlights of that (in order): old 17 east of the city, the original end of the Quickway where NY 17 once joined US 11 into Binghamton on a surface street, Airport Road (a reference route), NY 17C for button copy, NY 26 in Endicott to see IBM, and some old alignments of NY 434 that are also old old alignments of NY 17.
The next day, I once again left at the crack of dawn, on a promise to make it home by 1 PM. I came out of Binghamton the way I came in, 434 to 363 to 7 to I-81 into Pennsylvania. I followed PA 92 to PA 106, former US 106, south to Carbondale, where I took US 6 Business to the new US 6 freeway. I took US 6 West southward to I-84, to Exit 2 in New York. The route then started to meander as I attempted to find the elusive Clinton Road (as seen on Weird New Jersey). I took US 6 to Orange County Route 1 to NY-NJ 284. Don't ask what roads I took from there, because I had mistaken Canistear Road for Clinton Road, so it's all irrelevant except for the fact that in order to go east two miles, I had to backtrack several miles up to New York (to NY 94) and then down Warwick Turnpike back into New Jersey. Having finally driven the road and finding no ghosts, I continued disappointed down NJ 23 to the Paterson Hamburg Turnpike (old 23), whose old state-issue relics restored my faith. The rest of the trip was uneventful: I-287, I-80, I-280.

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That's all, folks!