BUSINESS

Old WEST End: Stop sign/T intersection, US 34, Wapello County

Facing west on Business 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

In the 1960s, 34 was rerouted through Ottumwa. In conjunction with the new four-lane 34, the Des Moines River was also rerouted, creating an oxbow lake in downtown. The old route on the west side of town is still Albia Road (the first town west). In 2007, the DOT took the official Business 34 designation off part of the old alignment, in favor of meeting 34 on Quincy Avenue, which has some businesses.

Facing east on 34

As with other business routes, rightly or wrongly, there is no signage in the direction leaving town. This signage was still up along 34 in June 2007, but the signage along the business route (see below) had been removed.

First sign on Business 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

This sign assembly looks very old, perhaps even original. The pavement isn't much newer, and that plus the old bridge probably figured into the change of alignment.

Along the route: Junction US 34/63

The old and new alignments of 34 cross in the "freeway" part of 34 built with two interchanges but a 45 mph speed limit and sharp, short ramps. Myrtle Street, which before the construction was part of 34, now serves as the road connecting eastbound ramps at the Church/Jefferson interchange. (Cook is the westbound counterpart.) This interchange will now be where Business 34 crosses Business 63 instead of mainline 63.

Old EAST End: Three-way stop, US 34, Ottumwa, Wapello County

Although the position of the end has not changed, the circumstances have.

Facing east on Business 34 (sign replaced before April 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

On 34 is still the old, time-worn signage. Notice that all of the older signs have wider numbers. These signs have all been removed; 34 here is now a three-lane road (two with center lane) that dead-ends a short distance to the east after passing an Iowa State Patrol office and a couple of old motels.

Facing west on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

From this intersection, present 34 took a left onto a newer expressway alignment while the business route continues straight ahead (something that, worth noting, is what business routes often do).

Facing north, but heading east, on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

No mention of Business 34 eastbound, just a sign for the business district. This bridge is Main Street, which departs Business 34 just to the west of here. Up ahead is Roemer Avenue, part of a segment originally built in 1954. Compare to the shot three pictures down.

EAST End: Stoplight, US 34/63, Ottumwa, Wapello County

Facing east on Business 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Jason took these pictures about a year before the Ottumwa bypass opened, so 63 was not signed here at the time.

Facing east on Business 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

The "End Business 34" was put up a few years ago; writes Jason, "It's something out of the 'didn't see that one coming' department."

Facing north, but heading east, on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Between November 2006 and June 2007, the intersection ahead became a stoplight, with straight ahead as an option.

Facing north, but heading east, on 34 / Closeup

The standalone "East 34" in the background is much larger than a normal shield, something only seen otherwise in Burlington.

Surrounding area information: New US 34/63 interchange

Facing east on 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Depending on how this interchange is signed at completion, US 34, US 63, or both will exit from themselves. Westbound, as in this view, the expressway ceases to be 34 and becomes 63. (The problem with diagonal-ish expressways in Iowa is that they have the tendency to switch numbers even as much of the traffic continues.) At far right is a frontage road that eventually follows the part of the 1954-55 alignment that's east of this point, crossing over new 34 in the process.

Facing south, but heading west, on 34 at Business 34

Photo by Jason Hancock

Pictures by Jason Hancock: First, fourth, and seventh-ninth, 4/4/04; sixth, 3/16/02; tenth-twelfth, 15th, and 16th, 11/22/06

Pictures by me: Second, third, fifth, 13th, and 14th, 6/11/07

Page created 9/2/04; last updated 11/11/07

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