NORTH

NORTH End: Interchange, US 30 and T37, Le Grand, Marshall County

Facing north on 146

This is the old north end, but you can see the new end in the background.

Facing west on old 30

Facing north on 146

The signs at this interchange have weird arrows, and the arrow should go after the mileage.

Facing north on 146

Facing south on T37

Facing south on T37

This sign is doubly wrong: The "ahead" city should be on top, and the right arrow should go after the mileage.

Facing east on 30

Facing east on 30

In the summer of 2005, the four-lane stopped here while construction continued to the east.

Offramp views: East / West

Facing west on 30

The first BGS ever in Tama County - and, for the foreseeable future, the only. Every surrounding county got a BGS in or before 2000. To the left of the covered "Do Not Enter" sign is old 30 going into Le Grand, while new 30 curves behind the BGS.

Facing west on 30

Facing west on 30, west of the intersection

And on this sign, the right arrow is in the right place but the ahead arrow isn't!

Old interchange photos

Facing north on T37 (May 2002)

Facing north on T37 (September 2002)

Old NORTH End: Stoplight (was stop sign), US 30 and T37, Le Grand, Marshall County

All below pictures are prior to the opening of the bypass.

Facing north on 146

Facing north on 146

Facing east on 30

After completion of the bypass, this overpass built in 1953-54 was removed.

Facing northeast

This is before massive amounts of dirt were trucked in for bridges over the railroad.

Facing east on 30

Facing east on 30

Facing west on 30 (May 2002 / July 2004)

Although a majority of Iowa's route of the Lincoln Highway is paved and in good condition - and some portions are still 30 today, although this number shrinks every once in a while - there is no concerted signing effort like that in Illinois. The Iowa Lincoln traveler must seek out the old route, but there is help available (including a map pack sold by the Lincoln Highway Association). In central Iowa, if you can find the road, there may occasionally be an "L" on a telephone pole, but there are no modern signs along the route (exception: Boone County). I would really like to see good, solid, modern signs with arrows to mark the route, marking at least one incarnation with alternate routes where necessary or possible.

"L" meanders north of paving - ¿Que?

The above photo of the "L" painted on the telephone pole shows the Lincoln Highway going east and west along Le Grand's Main Street. As it turns out, though, the path isn't quite this simple. The Lincoln Highway map pack mentioned above shows the LH following only one route between Le Grand and Montour, using present-day (well, late 1990s) US 30 and T47. However, every state map since 1919 shows the route going south on what today is IA 146 and then east on E49. That's also the route implied in the official 1924 Lincoln Highway guide - the Le Grand control point is the west edge of town - and the route Marshall County paved in 1925-26.

So what happened? The Le Grand Library's website has an explanation: "In LeGrand two grade crossings of the Chicago North Western Railroad on the old route caused the newly designated U.S. 30 to be turned aside and it now left LeGrand with only a connecting spur." That makes the most sense, although the change probably happened in the mid-1910s instead of 1926. IA 135 was designated from the intersection of the green and blue lines eastward in 1926, with an at-grade intersection with the railroad tracks. That way, 30 could parallel the railroad (on a road that no longer exists) before turning south, avoiding crossing the tracks there and in downtown Montour. After new 30 was built with an overpass over the tracks, it and the Lincoln were together again for half a century.

To the IA 146 South end

All pictures by me: Top 14, 7/5/05; 15th, 17th-20th, 23rd, and 25th, 5/13/02; 16th, 9/21/02; 21st, 7/16/04; 22nd and 24th, 8/21/04; map, 8/15/09

Page created 5/26/02; last updated 8/16/09

To Iowa Highway Ends Index