(1980-July 1, 2003)

WEST End: Geode State Park, Henry/Des Moines county line

Facing west on 79

Photo by Jason Hancock

EAST End: Stop sign, US 34, Middletown, Des Moines County

Phase 1: IA 79

Facing east on 79

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing east on 79

The barbed wire at left surrounds part of the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. The plant's existence here is likely responsible for the creation of the first rural four-lane segment in Iowa, running west from Burlington. About sixty years later, in November 2005, that rural four-lane was bypassed by a "modern" freeway to the north. (This photo is after decommissioning, but the 34 and arrows were the same before.)

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Phase 2: County Road 79

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Des Moines and Louisa counties did something different with their spurs: They kept the numerical designation. This lasted for a little over two years.

Facing northwest

The bridges in the background are for the new four-lane around Danville and Middletown, which opened after these pictures were taken. (What will old 34 be? Good question, especially considering that's three miles of four-lane road that's being vacated. But then again, that didn't stop old 20 from being turned over east of Waterloo.)

Facing southeast, but heading east, on 34

Phase 3: County Road J20 at US 34

Facing southeast, but heading east, on 34

This "phase" only lasted a few months. When I came past here in August 2005, old IA 79 was still signed as County Road 79 (Phase 2). Then, by late October, "J20"s had been pasted on the shields (left) - J20 was the designation for 79 prior to 1980. In November, the 34 bypass opened, leaving the old route with an as-yet-unknown designation.

Facing west on 34

Phase 4: County Road J20 at Old US 34

Facing west on old 34, two months after previous photo

Photo by Jason Hancock

The shield seen from October 2005 one photo up is still around, but there is no indication of what, if any, designation old 34 has. It could be because the DOT has not officially turned over the road yet (it's black on the 2006 and 2007 maps).

Facing east on new 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

The intersection with 79 is off to the right of the photo.

Facing east on the eastbound offramp

Facing northwest on old 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

The really long bridges, like those on new IA 60 south of Alton, span the old route and parallel railroad tracks. This is just north of the 79 intersection, which can be seen in an August 2005 photo higher up on this page.

Last seen: 2003

Pictures by Jason Hancock: First, second, and fourth, February 2002; fifth, 12/27/04; eleventh-fourteenth, 12/23/05

Pictures by me: Third, sixth, and seventh, 8/14/05; eighth-tenth, 10/21/05

Page created 5/7/02; last updated 3/26/07

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