Road construction seems to be a way of life in this state. Local roads, county roads, state roads, federal roads. And don’t forget the bridges. Lots of bridges.
The state has just ‘finished’ a bridge project that started in 2013, which was supposed to be finished in 2017, and while they just opened — in time for the almighty tourists — all the lanes, in actuality all the construction concerning the bridge won’t be fully finished until 2022. The punch line: they claim the project was finished ahead of schedule. Well, sure, if you push out the end date by five years you can claim you finished early. We locals know the truth: it isn’t finished, construction crews are still there, didn’t reopen on schedule and the only reason is poor project management, not unforeseen delays due to money or resources, structural issues, hurricanes or nor’easters.
Now, that bridge is at the end of a 5 mile stretch of state highway where the state put up one of the electronic signboards to apprise drivers of safety and traffic issues which until two weeks ago told us every single day for the past 6 years about the bridge construction.
A couple of months ago surprise! A new construction zone, starting about 200 feet past the electronic sign. Did the sign give drivers any info or notice? Hell no. Every day it’s a guess as to which lane is open and all have been patched to varying degrees of unevenness. They put up some orange signs at the beginning of this new zone (no advance mileage warning), which most days aren’t in sync with the change in traffic patterns, because they are apparently too lazy to change them, so when you think the left lane is closed — surprise — it’s open and the right lane is closed…And at no time has the town or state informed us as to an end date to this construction zone. What fun. Especially since it can’t be avoided if you want to get to the grocery store and you live on the west side of town.
Even more fun is the rest of the bridge project (yes, it’s really not finished) which involves intersections before and after the bridge which will start next year and take 9 years to complete. They built a new bridge and rehabbed the old one — complete with bike and pedestrian lanes and paths in 6 years, but widening/reconfiguring two intersections will take longer — on solid land.
Pedestrian crossings and all those ‘stop here’ lines at intersections have not been addressed and are sorely lacking and I propose some designs which, while merely decorative, will at least give the locals something to smile about if they ever finish the roadwork. Maybe they’ll even help the tourists stick to the speed limits and observe all traffic signs including Stop and Merge. Some small consolation for making 15 years of our lives absolute hell.
I’ve observed that the tourists suffer from delusions when they come our way every year, because they apparently see this
at every street crossing. No. That crossing is only in Charlotte at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
We’re not in Charlotte. Nor are we in Daytona. And instead of signs flashing the speed of over the limit drivers, we should place signs like this instead:
Beam me up Scotty, and transport me to the year 2030.