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(July 8, 1931-July 1, 2003)

NORTH End: Stop sign/T intersection, US 61, Wapello, Louisa County

(What, you expected Wapello to be in Wapello County?)

Facing west, but heading north, on 99

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing west, but heading north, on 99

Facing south on 61 (sign replaced - see below)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing south on 61 (June 2002 / October 2004)

Left photo by Jason Hancock

Upon the Second Great Decommissioning, Louisa and Des Moines counties opted to keep the same numbers of the defunct routes, just calling them "County Road" for a couple of years. That has changed now:

Facing south on 61 (May 2008)

Oakville made headlines in 2008 when it became part of the Iowa River.

Facing north on 61 (October 2004)

Facing north on 61 (May 2008)

This rural sign is at the intersection of 61 and 99 in Wapello, although I'm not quite sure why. In 2004, this was the only thing with "99" on it at the intersection. I traveled east on 99 hoping to spot a blue pentagon, but upon seeing the first naked pole, I turned around. The county PDF map gave no alphanumeric designation, just "County Rd 99". In 2006, the counties changed the designation to something a little more conventional - it's now County Road X99, and there are blue pentagons along the route. That said, "Highway 99" has a death grip on the locals' vocabulary.

This is not where US 61 originally ran. Prior to 1932, 61 came into Wapello from the south on what is now gravel J Avenue, a legacy evident in the way the roads meet and pronounced curves on the gravel road. It then went east for a mile on what until recently was 99, turning north at the intersection with County Road G62, and following gravel I Avenue north and northwest to Grandview, at one point two miles east of present 61, and then becoming J Avenue again south of Grandview.

SOUTH End: Interchange, US 34, Burlington, Des Moines County

Facing south on 99

Photo by Jason Hancock

All the signage you see in these downtown pictures is near the intersection of Main and Columbia streets, 0.15 miles south of the actual freeway, and changed after 99 was decommissioned.

Facing north on Main Street

Photo by Jason Hancock

The stoplight in the foreground is the intersection of Washington and Main. Columbia Street is the next one.

Facing west on Columbia Street

Photo by Jason Hancock

Jason says the off-ramp from eastbound US 34 follows Front Street for a short distance and turns right onto Columbia before ending here.

Facing east on 34 (1998)

Photo by Mark Roberts

It used to read "Toll Bridge" underneath "Illinois". Note signs for an upcoming hill.

Facing east on 34 (2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Facing east on 34 (2006)

Although the designation of 99 had changed to X99 by the time of this picture, the BGSs had not changed.

Facing east on 34 (March 2002)

Photo by Jason Hancock

The bridge into Illinois is visible in the background. Given the circumstances of 99's end, leaving the "North" off may be OK. Often BGSs with county road shields have a white background, though I think they look better without.

Facing east on 34

Facing east on 34

The exit is that close to Illinois. Merging traffic gets on the bridge immediately. For photos of the old bridge, see the US 34 page.

Facing west on 34 in Illinois (March 2002)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Jason says this BGS appears to be an Illinois DOT sign, but the Welcome Center sign is Iowa's.

Facing west on 34 in Illinois (December 2004 / Closeup)

Photo by Jason Hancock

Replaced, yes; centered, no, though the "North" didn't need to be removed at all. Notice the changes to the Welcome Center sign.

Facing west on 34 (December 2004)

Photo by Jason Hancock

These signs are the ones who backs are visible on the bridge in the eastbound bridge picture above.

Facing west

Photo by Jason Hancock

Jason writes, "A 'To County Road 99' assembly is present facing west from the off-ramp from westbound US 34."

It seems odd that such a long, unparalleled route would be dropped from the state's rolls, but it was. It's a pity, too, as 99 helped define that little "bulge" in Iowa.

Last seen: 2003

Sixteenth picture by Mark Roberts: Summer 1998

Pictures by Jason Hancock: First, fourth, and fifth, 6/22/02; 13th-15th, 19th, and 22nd, 3/31/02; 17th and 23rd-25th, 12/27/04

Pictures by me: Second, third, seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh, 5/12/08; sixth, ninth, and twelfth, 10/29/04; 18th, 20th, 21st, 6/16/06

Page created 6/23/02; last edited 8/25/08

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