Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Overpass Exchange Out in the Middle of Nowhere

Update: May 2017. In the last line of this blog post, I wrote, "Things are not the same as they once were." Isn't that the truth. The overpass exchange I wrote about in February 2013 is no longer. It has been torn down and replaced with an intersection.  These pictures are now an archive of what once was an anomaly in the middle of nowhere.

When I was a young lad, I was always in wonderment why the state built an overpass exchange with entrance and exit ramps in the middle of nowhere.  Other highway intersections usually rated only a stop sign and maybe a traffic light.  But not the highway intersection of U.S. 24 and KS 258.

Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of my world at the time, was this intersection for a state highway and a US highway with no town in sight.  And KS 258 ended less than 100 feet to the north and ended a few miles to the south after crossing over the earth-filled dam compounding the South Solomon River and creating Webster Lake.
State Highway 258 ending to the north

I'm guessing one reason for the overpass was that Highway 258 after crossing over the dam was on a high roadbed while Highway 24 was graded to be as flat as possible.  The difference in height was accommodated with the overpass and exchange.  But still to the untrained eye, it looks a little out of place.
Looking to the west from KS 258.

Looking to the east from the overpass bridge

I loved going across this way as a kid because seeing a large body of water in that part of Kansas is not an everyday sight.  Kansas Highway 258, as it crossed over the dam, has no shoulders and is enclosed with guardrails on both sides. The top of the dam is the roadbed.

Webster Lake inundated the town of Webster. The town was relocated to higher land but never survived the move.  When I was very young, the town had a small fish and bait store with a few grocery items. But the town soon faded away. Only the lake kept its name alive.

I'm reminiscing a lot. Therapy for the soul. Things are not the same as they once were.