Standing in the Middle of the Eastern End of Interstate 70

Interstate 70 is one of the stranger major highways in the United States. For one example, its interchange in Breezewood in Pennsylvania loops around itself, with a traffic light at United States Highway 30 — one of the rare locations in which a traffic light interrupts the traffic flow of an interstate highway.

I have not yet been to Breezewood; so I have no photographs nor comments pertaining to actual experience with this interchange.

Standing in the Middle of the Eastern End of Interstate 70

Additionally, Interstate highways of which the last of two digits ends in zero usually cross the United States from at least one coast. Although Interstates 20, 30 and 40 are exceptions, they at least end at a road or highway…

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but the eastern terminus of Interstate 70 simply ends…

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…with the eastbound traffic looping around to the westbound direction, as shown by the curve in the photograph.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Even the faded sign which marks this section of Interstate 70 is covered with so many leaves, branches and vines, it is difficult to read the sign — even up close.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The eastern end of Interstate 70 abruptly ends at the Gwynns Falls trailhead at Leakin Park.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The middle of the eastern terminus of Interstate 70 marks the easternmost end of the highway — which is the farthest east on Interstate 70 on which you can drive a vehicle — and the beginning of the trailhead…

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but not before motorists pass a parking lot for commuters in the middle of the highway east of the interchange with Maryland State Highway 122.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Cooks Lane is the name of Maryland State Highway 122 south of Interstate 70; but its name changes to Security Boulevard north of Interstate 70.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I initially thought that this corner of pavement north of the middle of Interstate 70 where the trailhead begins was the farthest one can drive a vehicle on the highway…

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but because the highway curves towards east northeast at its very end, this corner of pavement is not the easternmost part of the highway.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

You can have a picnic lunch at this set of benches and marvel at this engineering anomaly pertaining to the Interstate highway system in the United States.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

This parking lot for commuters is supposed to be a median with additional lanes in both directions, as Interstate 70 was originally planned to cut right through Baltimore and end at an interchange with Interstate 95…

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but it instead ends at where it does now, due to opposition from members of local civic groups. Additionally, a southern branch of Interstate 70 was supposed to head towards the District of Columbia.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

These clothing drop boxes are located at the southern part of the eastern terminus of Interstate 70.

Interstate 70 eastern end

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

No plans are in place for the eastern terminus of Interstate 70 to extend further east in the foreseeable future.

Summary

The western terminus of Interstate 70 ends at Interstate 15 in Cove Fort in Utah. I almost drove there earlier this year on my way to Las Vegas; but I decided on a different route so that I may visit the Four Corners Monument instead.

I was always incredibly fascinated with maps. I could read map books for hours — not to know where I was going, as I always had a keen sense of direction — but because I was always equally as fascinated with roads and highways. I rarely needed to refer to a map to get to where I was going while I was driving.

The advent of Google Maps and other similar technologies only significantly upgraded the level of my fascination with maps, as I could spend hours reviewing them as well — and catching interesting anomalies such as the eastern terminus of Interstate 70.

I am always up for a discussion on highways and their anomalies. Please feel free to share your observations in the Comments section below.

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

14 thoughts on “Standing in the Middle of the Eastern End of Interstate 70”

  1. Fester says:

    Awesome, I thought I was the only into maps!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      No way, Fester. You will always have company with me when it comes to maps!

  2. Scott says:

    I loved this post. Sent me to Google maps to look it up! Love maps!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the article, Scott.

      I hope that more “mapaholics” come out of the woodwork and join us!

  3. DaninMCI says:

    I love maps and found your post interesting as I live near I-70 in Kansas. I’ve driven all but the extreme Eastern point you cover. The Western end is less exciting. It just merges into I-15 in the middle of nowhere. You hardly even notice. I-70 was the beginning of the interstate system and there is a marker in St Charles Missouri mentioning that. Oddly there is also a place in Kansas that claims it was started there and also has a sign stating so.
    Personally I find I-44 more interesting in as it follows a lot of route 66. In fact there are a few areas like in central Missouri where you can still drive the old 2 lane 66 and next to it is a newer divided 4 lane section and next to that the newer I-44 section.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      ..then I most likely passed right by you on my trip from Atlanta to Las Vegas, DaninMCI.

      I stayed overnight at the DoubleTree hotel property in Lawrence. Had I known, I would have considered perhaps meeting you…

  4. Baltimore says:

    You forgot to mention that there is an interstate just west to all this fun stuff. So effectively it does end at I695 for all intents and purposes

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I do not necessarily agree, Baltimore, because I used Interstate 695 to access Interstate 70 eastbound; and I had to drive approximately two miles to get to its eastern terminus.

  5. Ryan says:

    Even numbered interstates are E/W odds are N/S. Nothing to do with coasts. If the first number of a three digit is odd, it only connects to an interstate at one end, even leading digit in a three digit connects to an interstate at both ends. Very handy to know in cities.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Although you are indeed correct, Ryan, I was very careful to purposely clarify in the article that “Interstate highways of which the last of two digits ends in zero usually cross the United States from at least one coast” — although I probably should consider writing an article pertaining to general information about Interstate highways in the United States.

      With exceptions such as Interstate 30, Interstate highways which have a 0 as the last of two digits are typically major highways which cross the United States east and west; while Interstate highways which have a 5 as the last of two digits — including Interstate 5, of course — are typically major highways which cross the United States north and south. One notable exception is Interstate 45 in southeastern Texas.

      Now I am going to throw an interesting curve ball at you, Ryan: how do you explain the numbering of Interstate 238 in San Leandro in California?

  6. Jeannine (Sorge) Sohayda says:

    I have a question, and I’m sorry it doesn’t pertain to I-70 (or maybe it does, I have never been on it, to my knowledge). Maybe the question is somewhat related to maps. In any case…

    I have been traveling I-80 for about 20 years and, in Pennsylvania, they renumbered their exits quite some time ago to align with the road mileage — probably more than 20 years ago. They still have road signs that say “Old Exit 50”, but I doubt anyone is using a map that still references these old exit numbers. Is there some kind of law–state or federal–that requires interstates to keep the Old Exit Number reminder signs up there for a certain period of time? I feel like it’s time for those to come down, at least in Pennsylvania. Thanks!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is an excellent question to which I currently do not know the answer, Jeannine (Sorge) Sohayda; but I am attempting to find out — especially as I am curious to the answer myself, as I have driven on Interstate 80 more times than I care to remember.

      In fact, I used to work at a company on Highway 46 in Fairfield.

      During my initial research, I found this document from the United States Department of Labor; and the diagram in the ninth section called Roads Opened and Closed with Detour must have been created by someone in New Jersey — specifically, Paramus:

      https://www.osha.gov/doc/highway_workzones/mutcd/figures.html

      I may have to contact the department of transportation in Pennsylvania to get the answer to your question — please never apologize for being off topic…

      …but as I was in New Jersey recently, you might be interested in some of the future articles I plan on writing. They include “button copy” signs in Montville; a video of one of the most ridiculous “jughandles” on which I have ever driven on New Jersey State Highway 23 in Riverdale so that I could fill up the car with gasoline prior to entering New York State; and my second visit to George Washington’s Headquarters in Morristown…

  7. Jeannine (Sorge) Sohayda says:

    Looking forward to your future posts, esp. those about NJ, and even more about your fun experience on a jughandle in Riverdale. Pretty sure I’ve done every jughandle in Riverdale, since I live close by.

    My personal favorite jughandle (might be Butler, not Riverdale) had the words “My mom is so proud” spray painted on the guard rail. The words were “removed” but you can still see them through the paint if you look hard enough. Makes me smile every time

  8. kitt katt says:

    You are wonderfully and amazingly diverse in your interests! Always a joyful surprise to read your columns!

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