Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Crossroads of America

The Interstate 70/I-75 interchange was officially completed this week. The massive $145 million project took seven years to finish. 70 and 75 are two of the longest interstates in the United States; I-75 runs from Michigan to Florida and I-70 from Maryland to Utah. They meet just north of Dayton, Ohio about 6 miles from my house. The old interchange was a 1950s-style cloverleaf where the merging of exiting and entering traffic in the same short lane was not only dangerous but a total pain in the ass. This picture isn't the actual interchange but gives you a good idea what it used to look like:

Here's a south-facing view of what it looks like now:

The project also included 16 new bridges, a railroad overpass, and the rebuilding of eight ramps. For the most part, traffic never stopped flowing regularly. There was only one time I got caught up in the construction; coming back from the Ohio State Fair around midnight they shut westbound I-70 down completely for 15 minutes. We just turned off the truck and waited it out.

This 1960s(?)-era WING AM sticker shows you just how proud we are of being "The Crossroads of America." Referring to Dayton as a "Megacity" seems like a bit of an overstatement though.

Dayton's first radio station, 1410 WING AM began as WXAX in 1921. They were a legendary Top-40 station in the 50s, 60s and 70s known as "High Flying WING AM." They are currently an ESPN radio affiliate. The WING call letters are a reference to Dayton's most famous citizens Wilbur and Orville Wright, the inventors of the world's first successful airplane.

(Sticker scan courtesy of Dan Sys)

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