Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Old NORTH End (Decmber 4, 1934-July 16, 1997): Stoplight, IA 92/A Ave. and US 63/Market St., Oskaloosa, Mahaska County

Facing north on 137, now 63

Photo by Jason Hancock

When 63 was rerouted in 1997, its duplex with 92 was removed (it came to 92 at what is now the north end of 23) and took over 137's route north of Eddyville. Previously, 63 would be ahead and to the right. This intersection was, once upon a time, the east end of US 163, going to the left while 63 was ahead and to the right.

Facing west on 92

Photo by Jason Hancock

Closeups of above signage

Left photo by Jason Hancock

Signage directing travelers to 163 is abundant at this intersection./p>

Facing south on 63

Old NORTH End (July 16, 1997-July 12, 2004): Stop sign, US 63, Eddyville, Wapello County

Facing northeast, but heading north, on 137

Photo by Neil Bratney

Until US 63 was rerouted in 1997, 137 was almost twice as long as it is now. Its 24-mile length lost the 10 miles between Eddyville and Oskaloosa. Incidentally, 137's Oskaloosa-Albia route was the only stretch of IA 59 not replaced by US 63 in 1935. What makes the routing somewhat strange is that the flow of the road leans toward 63's alignment, as 137 had to take a left and head northwest from here as 23 went south. (However, given that this intersection is on the side of town, there's a possibility an earlier alignment made the layout make more sense.)

Facing north on 63

Photo by Neil Bratney

Before 1997, this would have been the north end of 23, with 137 to the left and straight ahead.

Facing northeast, but heading north, on 137 (July 2005)

At the original intersection in 2005, a temporary arrow was placed by the Oskaloosa line to make traffic turn right (to new 63). Turning left will take you on old 63 through Eddyville, then curve north on a new road to a new interchange. Part of old 63 right where the four-lane deviates for the bypass is completely blocked off now. At the time this picture was taken the road was still 137, but a new Des Moines River bridge just to the south was being built to make a smooth transition from old 137 to the new road that runs into 63 at the interchange.

Facing south on 63 (January 2003)

See below for a better shot of the bypass construction right a few yards ahead. On the north side of Eddyville, bridges for the bypass practically abutted the alignment. The bypass route was graded and appeared ready for paving in 2003, and 137 will be straightened a bit to meet 63 (see below). The Amoco sign was replaced by a completely new BP set during 2003.

Facing south on 63 (January 2004)

Right at the intersection (January 2004)

The above "137 <-" is right beside the No Passing Zone sign. The original pavement went straight ahead but has been shifted for grading. Bridges for the bypass are at left.

Facing south (June 2006)

Deep in the background is the new 137.

Facing north (June 2006)

This photo is between the old 137 (visible) and the new 137 (behind the camera). The BP is at right.

NORTH END: Interchange, US 63, Eddyville, Wapello County

The end of 137 at two-lane 63 faced northeast. Now, it will end facing due east, south and east of the intersection. The April photos show a road being built to meet 63; the December ones show the finished interchange, first going north on 137 and then coming back as if taking the exit ramp from southbound 63.

Facing east, southwest of 137's at-grade end (April 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Jason writes, "View from the existing IA 137 showing grading for the realigned 137. The 'Stop Ahead' sign is for the current road." This road was not finished when the bypass opened.

Facing east (63 is cross road) (April 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

This road is now open, and the End sign has been put up:

Facing east, but heading north, on 137 (December 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

At its heart, the north end of 137 is a trumpet interchange, making the diagonal arrow somewhat superflous. Crossing under the bridges, going north on 63 is the only option. There is one other interchange for Eddyville, but it is NOT County Road G77; it is a new road being built into town.

Facing south on 63 (December 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

The exit tab's area is larger than the previous standard, allegedly to make it more readable. No "South" added...sigh.

Facing south on offramp

Photo by Jason Hancock

Wait a second. From the old intersection, Albia was 15 miles away (see above). The net change in distance between the two spots can't be more than a fraction of a mile. Curious indeed.

Facing west (63 is cross road) (April 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

This looks at the grading for new 137 from the opposite direction of the first April shot above.

Facing west, but heading north, on 137 (December 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

This is nearly the same vantage point as above; the cross road is now old 63. Jason writes, "It's tough to tell by this photo, but the "ALBIA 14 ->" is really a piece of cardboard tacked onto the LGS; it will be removed when the connecting road opens. And I don't know why they put the arrow above the IA 137 shield..."

Facing south on old 63, but heading north on temporary 137 (December 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

"...nor do I know why this US 63 assembly is all messed up." This position is a few hundred feet south of the T; 137 later changed to run across the middle of the photo, as seen below.

Facing south (June 2006)

This LGS looks like the same one that was at the original intersection, behind the camera, in 2004.

Facing south (June 2006)

The road (or vicinity of the road) in this perspective was IA 23, then US 63, then IA 137 in 2004-05, and now finally a local Eddyville road.

Facing west, but heading south, on 137 (June 2006)

Compare the shot of this LGS to the one four pictures up. Also compare it to the other, older LGS two pictures up, which says Albia is 15 miles away.

SOUTH End: Y intersection, IA 5, Albia, Monroe County

Facing south on 137 (March 2002)

Photo by Neil Bratney

Facing south on 137 (July 2005)

Facing south on 137

When Neil Bratney took pictures here in 2002, these signs were on wooden poles. The metal creep continues.

Signs hidden behind LGS in above picture

Photo by Neil Bratney

Facing southeast, but heading south, on 5

To get to 137, you take a short east-west connecting road and then turn left.

Facing southeast, but heading south, on 5

Facing north on 5

Facing north on 5

Facing north on 5

Surrounding area information: Jct. IA 5/US 34

Facing north on 5

From just looking at a map, one might think that 137 can be reached or seen from 34. In fact, that was the case prior to 34's realignment in the 1960s - 137 ended at US 34/Benton Avenue two blocks east of IA 60 (5) and the courthouse in downtown Albia. Since that is not the case today - 137 is on the north side of town, 34 the south - 137 shields have been put up at the intersection.

Facing north on 5

The mileage sign includes Albia because the bulk of the town is to the north, although some businesses have located here for the highway traffic. It's an eight-lane four-way stop here, just like US 63/US 30 used to be in Toledo, and I presume just as annoying to get through.

Facing east on 34

Facing east on 34

And if the stop wasn't enough, there's railroad tracks right here too. Notice the LGS doesn't give any distance for Rathbun Lake, which is definitely more than a mile away.

Facing west on 34

IA 137's polarity problem

Since 1997, when 137 left Oskaloosa, it has been connecting two north-south highways. Normally, such a task is done by an east-west highway. With the truncation to Eddyville, 137 actually became just that. Today, its total north-south distance is only about 8 miles, whereas its east-west distance is 9½ miles. Despite the creation of such an oddity, 137 will likely remain signed as a north-south route. (Maybe it's good there's no direction listed on 63's BGSs.)

Pictures by Jason Hancock: Top three, 3/10/02; 14th, 15th, and 19th, 4/4/04; 16th-18th, 20th, and 21st, 12/24/04

Pictures by Neil Bratney: Sixth, seventh, 25th and 28th, 1/20/02

Pictures by me: Fourth, 11/19/07; fifth, 10/29/04; eighth, 26th, 27th, and 29th-38th, 7/11/05; ninth, 1/25/03; tenth and eleventh, 1/31/04; twelfth, 13th, and 22nd-24th, 6/16/06

Page created 3/28/02; last updated 1/27/08

Back to index