Alps' Roads Special - Middle TN Road Meet

Middle Tennessee Regional Road Meet, March 29, 2014

Long name, amazing results. I centered a mini-exploration of Tennessee around this meet, my first in-depth travels in the state since childhood. From Nashville International Airport, I went out TN 255 to US 31, north to TN 155 and around to I-40 west. I used TN 251 to connect to the Natchez Trace Pkwy. via TN 100, driving the northernmost few miles up to TN 96. I then followed that to Business US 431 in Franklin and down to TN 840. That got me to I-24, which I took back into Nashville to check out the Gateway Bridge, Sparkman (or Shelby) Street Bridge, and other sights before leaving town on I-40 to Lebanon. With time the next morning before the meet, I went down US 231 to TN 96/99 to Fortress Rosencrans and other Murfreesboro delights, then farther down US 231 to TN 437, a new partially-complete bypass of Shelbyville. After some Tullahoma waterfalls, I came up US 41, TN 53, and TN 141 to US 70 into Lebanon and the meet restaurant.

From the restaurant, we headed up US 231 through Lebanon to TN 141 via US 70, checking out construction along the route toward Hartsville. We then went west on TN 25 (see photo at left) to Gallatin, to TN 109 where the old two-lane truss had just been replaced with a boring, modern five-lane span. That was the ideal setting for our meet photo:

From left to right: A.J. Bertin, Christy and Chris Curley, flanking me claiming the land of Anthony Costanzo, Jason Ilyes, Chris Bubb, Cody Goodman, Eric Near, H.B. Elkins (the H is for Helpneeded), Paul DiGianfrancesco, Brandon Gorte. After exploring the bridge, we continued south to I-40 to Nashville, around TN 155 (Briley Pkwy.) to I-65 for a drive through widening contruction, around the downtown loop and south through more widening to I-840, which was then TN 840. We went west on the newest roadway segment back to I-40 and on east to the Natchez Trace Pkwy. at TN 96, which I had already checked out in case it didn't fit in the meet. The meet concluded along I-40 with a clinch of I-440 thrown in. Since I had a few more days of exploration planned post-meet, I'll be brief. I finished clinching TN 840 and then drove I-24 to its east end, checking out the final days of the US 41/64/72 bridge over the Tennessee River. I clinched US 11, I-24, and I-59 in Georgia as well as TN 153 and TN 319 in Chattanooga. After checking out that city, including TN 148 and the US 11/64 tunnels, I headed down I-75 to GA 52, then down US 19 to GA 400 for a clinch. Before calling it a night, I saw road-related interests along GA 10, GA 54, GA 166, and up city streets. The next day featured US 78, GA 20, GA 10 Loop, lunch with my cousin, and I-520 in two states. Once in SC, I ended up on US 25, SC 254, some secondaries and county routes, then I-185 and I-385 around Greenville. This brought me to I-85 and I-585, Business I-85, and out on I-26 to SC 14, SC 414 and some old bridges before I took US 25 and NC 225 to my hotel.

That's three days. I've got three more. My morning took me west on US 64 and a lot of county/local roads to Asheville, poking around I-26 and I-240 before heading back up I-26 to TN, looping up US 11W to US 11E in Bristol. I used Roan St. in Johnson City to get to TN 381 and Bible Covered Bridge on my way to Knoxville. There was quite a bit of exploration, including TN 158, James White Pkwy., TN 33, I-140 and TN 162, I-640, and I-275. The next day, I drove US 129 south through the Tail of the Dragon to North Carolina, taking advantage of the lack of traffic at 7 AM. I came back north on US 19 to also-scenic US 441 back up to where I started, then north on US 11W to US 23, west on US 58 to its Tennessee end at US 25E in Cumberland Gap. To add a wrinkle, I then started driving toward home, up US 119 in Kentucky to KY 1460, KY 3495, and a hotel. This set me up for a packed final day, starting with US 23, KY 15, clinches of old KY 2451/KY 2449, and Hal Rogers (Daniel Boone) Parkway, then KY 80 and down US 27 to Cumberland Pkwy. for another clinch. I took I-65 south to my scheduled Corvette factory tour with bonus clinches of Business US 68, KY 880, and KY 2158 to make up for no photos inside the factory. To make my evening flight, I lightly skedaddled on KY 446, US 68 and its business routes, US 79 back into TN to Fort Defiance, then a bit of US 31E over to clinching I-24 and TN 155. My last act clinched TN 255 to return me to the airport and then home. Made my flight, saw my friends, lived to write about it.

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