Posts Tagged ‘I-80’

More on Lincoln Highway bricks that moved west

January 6, 2010

Updating yesterday’s story on Brian Cassler’s efforts to deliver bricks to Nebraska, dad Jim sent this photo and info on where they came from:

The bricks were uncovered in the summer of 2007 when Tuscarawas Street (the Lincoln Hwy through downtown Canton, Ohio) was unearthed as a part of a street renovation project. Former LHA president Bob Lichty asked the city to save them to be used for a future project. When the Archway requested bricks, we were able to fill their request.

The bricks will be used for a recreated stretch of the transcontinental road at the Great Platte River Road Archway that spans I-80 near Kearney in central Nebraska. Cleaning the bricks and arranging their transport was an Eagle Scout project for Brian Cassler. Jim operates the Lincoln Highway Trading Post.

Next gen gets Lincoln Highway bricks to archway

January 5, 2010

An Eagle Scout project for Brian Cassler will be a gift for Lincoln Highway fans forever. The Kearney Hub reports that Cassler’s efforts will result in a recreated stretch of the transcontinental road at the Great Platte River Road Archway that spans I-80 in central Nebraska. The Kearney paper has 25 photos online, as seen in the screen capture below.

“The original paving bricks are getting pretty rare,” said Ronnie O’Brien, director of education/operations at the archway. “We were going to contract with a brick company to recreate a piece of the Lincoln Highway.” Instead, workers in Canton, Ohio, a city of 78,000, found original bricks in 2008 while reconstructing city streets. Brian Cassler of Canton took on a project of cleaning, organizing and palletizing the [2,200] bricks from the famous highway.

Cassler, along with trucker Tim Wunsch of Fort Morgan, Colo., delivered the load of pavers to the archway Sunday. “The city of Canton donated the bricks to the archway to be used in the display,” O’Brien said. “The bricks had been under other construction, and they were dirty and in a huge pile. They needed to be cleaned up and scraped before they could be hauled here.” Cassler, who took on the project as part of his Eagle Scout requirements, spent several months preparing the bricks. Cassler’s father runs the Lincoln Highway Trading Post in Canton.

Check out highway merchandise at the Lincoln Highway Trading Post online store.

The Omaha World-Herald also ran a feature story about the project.

Fort Steele building to be interpretive center

March 23, 2009

The Rawlins Daily Times reports (via The Seattle Times) that the post trader’s house at Fort Fred Steele Historic Site has been saved from its crumbling state and rehabbed. The fort, along the Lincoln Highway and I-80 about 12 miles east of Rawlins, Wyoming, was built in 1868 to guard against Indian attacks and used through 1886. A Salt Lake City firm stabilized the crumbling concrete of the house with a glasslike liquid that is absorbed and prevents concrete from crumbling. The strengthened walls are joined by a new roof, walls, hardwood floor, windows, and heat. Also known as the Chatterton House, the post trader’s house is being readied as an interpretive center. Fort Steele reopens for the summer May 1. Here are a couple videos about the site, one short but pretty, the other with some locals interviewed.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

In 1892, the graves of the soldiers and their dependents at Fort Steele were moved to Fort McPherson National Cemetery — along the Gothenburg Stairstep portion of the Lincoln Highway near Maxwell, Nebraska.

Plans for I-80/Lincoln Highway Summit Rest Area

January 5, 2009

Renovation plans have been drawn up for the Summit Rest Area and Information Center along I-80 (x 323) and across from the Lincoln Highway in eastern Wyoming. The site is best known for a giant bust of Abraham Lincoln and a monument to LHA president Henry Joy. The site is atop the Pole Mountains in the Medicine Bow National Forest — the highest point on both roadways.

wy_summitrestarea_i80

WY_LincMon_I-80

Plans were prepared by the Roybal Corporation, which worked closely with the Wyoming Travel & Tourism Council to create interpretive exhibits providing information to visitors about things to explore along the I-80 corridor in southern Wyoming.

A video was posted in November 2008 showing the drawings in 3-D:

Also see Reed Construction Data for a few more details.

Jean Shepherd visits Little America, 1971

January 11, 2008

“You ever wake up sometimes maybe around 3 o’clock in the morning, you look up at the ceiling, the blackness – you feel that terrible urge to see it all, to get on the road. To smell the pine trees, watch all the rivers, see all the skies, climb all the hills….”

Jean Shepherd was a humorist known to millions through books, radio, and live shows, but is best known to modern audiences for co-writing and narrating (as grown-up Ralphie) the 1983 film A Christmas Story. He also had a very popular TV show: Jean Shepherd’s America, produced by WGBH (PBS) Boston, aired 13 shows in 1971 and 13 in 1985. (They’re available on DVD, or learn more here.) This clip, from the last show of the 1971 season, is the final segment and end credits. Jean and his crew are snowbound in Wyoming at Holding’s Little America motel and truck stop, along the Lincoln Highway and I-80. During the 4-minute video, he talks, in his measured prose, about life on the road, and the American urge to keep moving.

From Calif to Mich in a 1967 British sports car

December 29, 2007

Automobile magazine copy editor Rusty Blackwell bought a 1967 MGB/GT Special through Craiglist this past fall. The challenge was getting it from San Francisco back to Ann Arbor, Michigan. His adventures with early snows and faulty fuel pumps are fun reading, even if much of it is along I-80. He does detour onto the Lincoln Highway briefly, such as Soda Springs, California; Rawlins, Wyoming; and Sidney and Gothenburg, Nebraska. He also took lots of photos. In all, his 2,300-mile trek that he hoped would take 4 days took 8. Click HERE for the first of his 9 posts. Here’s a screen shot of the opening page:

AutoMagWeb

More on Russin's Abraham Lincoln monument

December 16, 2007

The photo below (courtesy Jim Kearns, Manager, University of Wyoming Media Relations) shows sculptor Robert Russin and assistants working on the bust of Abraham Lincoln that they built in 1959 to honor Lincoln’s 150th birthday. Its location in eastern Wyoming also marked the highest point on the Lincoln Highway: 8,835 feet.

WY_Russin

According to the Laramie Area Chamber and Albany County Tourism Board, Russin spent 11 months building the 4,500 lb. sculpture. The head’s 30 pieces were cast in Mexico City so that they could work in a constant favorable climate, then the bronze pieces were sent by rail back to Wyoming to be bolted together. The 13.5-foot-tall bust was then set atop a 35-foot-tall cut-granite base built by local crews. The inside is hollow to hold ladders and lightning rods. In 1969, the monument was moved (during a snowstorm!) about a half mile to a rest stop when I-80 opened between Cheyenne and Laramie. It’s now at the highest point along I-80: 8,640 feet.

WY_LincMon_I-80

The visitors center (above) has an informational panel about the monument and the Lincoln Highway. In 2001, the Henry B. Joy monument with four Lincoln Highway concrete posts was moved there from the Continental Divide interchange about a hundred miles to the west. Russin’s fascination with the president went beyond the monument: he named his second son Lincoln.

Wyoming Lincoln Monument Sculptor Dies at 93

December 15, 2007

The University of Wyoming reports that retired art professor Robert I. Russin has died at 93. His best-known sculpture, at least to Lincoln Highway fans, is the blocky bust of Lincoln atop Sherman Summit along the LH/I-80 in eastern Wyoming. It was created in 1959 to honor the sesquicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

WY_Lincoln monument

The monument originally sat along the Lincoln Highway. When I-80 was completed over the rise in 1969, the monument was moved almost a half-mile east to the Summit Rest Area at the Happy Jack Road interchange, exit 323. Russin used 10 tons of clay and 11 months to complete the 12.5-foot-tall bronze base and bust.

Details of Russin’s life and work can be found in an LA Times obituary story.

Western Wyoming LH Corridor Threatened

November 18, 2007

Our friend RoadDog alerts us to a possible threat to the Lincoln Highway in western Wyoming. An article in the Casper Star-Tribune says there’s a good chance the undrivable Lincoln Highway remnant from Green River east to Rock Springs could be revamped into a connector road. Though the two cities are just 12 miles apart, I-80 is the only paved road connecting them, forcing commuters and other locals to compete with a rising tide of trucks brought on by the region’s oil and gas boom.

WY_Green River I-80

According to the article, “Two of the three proposed routes would begin at Green River’s east I-80 interchange and then follow the remnants of the old Lincoln Highway—which used to run between the two cities—north of I-80. A third route would start on the city’s south side and run south of the interstate, hooking up with U.S. Highway 191…. [U]nofficial cost projections to build an approximately 12-mile-long road have been estimated at about $2 million per mile, or around $24 million total. Officials expect the project to take a decade or longer to complete.”

Most dismaying for those concerned about preserving the LH’s roadscape, local leaders hope the new road will bring housing, business, and industry. Green River officials especially say the city has been hemmed in by Castle Rock and I-80 to the north, and steep undevelopable land to the south.

UPDATE 12/31/07: “Locals will help choose route” in the Caspar Star-Tribune.