(July 1, 1920-July 1, 2003)

NORTH End: Stop sign, US 34, Adams County

Facing north on 49

The LGS is for Corning and Creston, towns without any between them on 34 but, maybe surprisingly, three county seats between them in alphabetical order.

Facing east on 34

At the time, a detour was set up for IA 25 using this route (bridge work south of Kent).

Facing east on 34

Like IA 107, 49 was an original spur (34 to Lenox) later promoted to a full route. Also like 107, it was deemed unnecessary 83 years later.

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing west on 34

This was the second-to-last of only 19 pictures I took with my digital camera June 15-16 that actually turned out. Thus, this is one of my Miracle Pictures. The 49 shield in this picture was put up sometime after mid-January 2002 to replace an older one Neil had in his picture.

Facing (mostly) north

Photo by Neil Bratney

*Original Number, Original End*

Temporary NORTH End(?) (summer 2003): near Lenox, Adams/Taylor county line

Choosing the rock over the hard place

The Taylor County Supervisors' minutes printed in the Lenox Time Table on Jan. 8, 2003, indicate the transfer was made in two steps. The motion to sign the transfer for the first portion, the south city limits of Lenox to IA 2 near Bedford (see below), which was added to the route in 1942, was approved Dec. 26, 2002. The motion to sign the transfer for the second portion, the Taylor County portion of the original 1920 spur to Lenox, was approved Dec. 30. The city of Lenox got approximately $458,000 for the transfer. This case is an example of counties agreeing to take jurisdiction (and whatever money the DOT would give them) before Senate File 451 gave them no choice in the matter.

I mark the county line as a temporary end because the north end was posted June 15 but on June 16 signage along 49 itself was gone near Bedford (see below); whether an actual "End" sign was posted here in summer 2003 I do not know.

With IA 49's decommissioning, Lenox became the largest town in Iowa without a highway within a mile of city limits.

SOUTH End: Stop sign, IA 2, near Bedford, Taylor County

Facing southwest, but heading south, on 49 (September 2002)

Photo by Neil Bratney

Facing southwest, but heading south, on 49 (June 2003)

Same pole, but it looked a little naked when I came by in June. In the immediate area of the south end, including what would have been the first sign northbound, all the poles were like this.

Facing southwest, but heading south, on 49 (August 2006)

Facing west on 2

While the poles on 49 were bare in June 2003, all signs were intact on IA 2 at the time. The brown sign is for Lake of Three Fires State Park.

Facing west on 2

As with Adams County, Taylor also marked 49 as "St Hwy 49". Replacing those signs - and getting everyone to change their addresses - is a bit more complicated than most cases given 49's full assimilation into the county road system (see bottom).

Facing west on 2, post-decommissioning

Facing east on 2

Photo by Neil Bratney

Quite a few state highway junctions have an arrow with the "Jct" when there is none warranted. (In this case, it happenes in both directions.)

Facing east on 2

Photos by Neil Bratney

Closeup of signs in left above picture

Same pole, post-decommissioning

Facing north

Note, as with many intersections like this, the highway going ahead is not noted. This signage is the county's responsibility (which you can tell by the narrow, separated "Jct" and double arrow).

Surrounding area information: Old south end (until 1978)

Facing east; old 49 is to the right

Is this where 49 used to end before 2 was rerouted around the east side of Bedford? I think so. It's like a fork intersection, with the main road going from 49 SB to 2 WB. This sign is now gone (a pity, really, but then, the entire route could now be called "Old Hwy 49").

USDA/NRCS (USGS map)

This topographic map, circa early 1980s, indicates 49 (diagonal going to upper right) may have been extended along 2's old route to IA 148 (red north-south line) for a short time. The above picture was taken where the diagonal road turns westbound. Looking at maps, it appears the realignment of 2 was done in 1978.

Last seen: 2003 (2002 map)

This ties for third-longest route decommissioned in 2003, at 28 miles the same as IA 982; above it were 183 south of 127 (31.2) and 107 (30). (Map mileage around Conway had been separated since at least 1968 even though no spur has gone there since that time.)

At right is Taylor County's full assimilation of 49 into the county road system; as a diagonal, this one was tricky. Three of them (N64, J23, J35) can be seen continuing from 49 and are therefore logical; for N52, it is a gravel road that extends north past Sharpsburg, and N44 is the road that goes straight south of Bedford. (Credit: Lewis Schrodt gave the new road designations to Jason Hancock.)

Pictures by Neil Bratney: Seventh, 1/20/02; eighth, 14th, 15th/16th (split image), 9/2/02

Fourth and fifth pictures by Jason Hancock: 4/23/06

Pictures by me: First-third and sixth, 6/15/03; ninth, eleventh, twelfth, 17th, 19th, and 20th, 6/16/03; tenth, 13th, and 18th, 8/21/06

Page created 3/22/02; last updated 2/8/10

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