It has started!

Now here are some men in uniforms!

Now here are some men in uniforms!

Every year there is a lot of road work that goes on around here.

Every year I get so frustrated that I write at least one post about it. Today is that day.

This year the roads between me and the BIG mall and one of our good friends are closed. The detours take us over three states to get around the construction.

(The detour may take us out of the country. You need a passport to travel detours in our neck of the woods! It doesn’t matter that we are one big state away from the nearest border.)

Today we had to go to the BIG mall to pick something up. Trying to be smart and efficient we used a back route. It’s a little out-of-the-way but the bigger annoyance is that there is a stop sign at every intersection. I. Mean. Every. Intersection!

It took forever to get there so coming back we tried a different way. It wasn’t too bad until we hit another construction detour that backed up traffic farther than the eye could see.

I get claustrophobic when I can’t see the hold up. I’m not good at sitting in a car when I don’t know why or how long.

Is it just heavy traffic? Is there a humongous accident ahead? Do I need my jammies and toothbrush? Will I ever see my cats again? Do I have clean underwear on (in case of a road rage accident)? When was the last time I ate? Will I starve?

Fortunately the beloved husband was driving. He is more patient than I am. Usually. Today could really try the patience though. We hit three different road projects on our very short normally 15 minute trip.

I didn’t see anyone working. The weather was fine and it just after lunch so I don’t know where they all were. The roads were closed off anyway.

Minor inconvenience, major improvement or so they say.

I say hire some young flagman in skinny jeans with abs of steel to entertain us while we wait! I always love a uniform, even if it’s a construction uniform!



38 thoughts on “It has started!

  1. Is a major holiday coming up? They always schedule big construction projects right at those times around here. It’s epidemic here, too – everywhere with no alternative roads any better. Normally the mild weather means work can be done year round, but we’ve had so much rain this year. Construction seems to go better if there’s a bonus for completing the job early. Then they get out big lights and work day and night in shifts. Amazing how fast things can get dome if they are motivated.
    Of course the “new” construction here is in spots where they finished “new” construction/repairs not long ago….meanwhile the evacuation routes from the coast are ignored. But the developers who just happen to be all along the roads under repair/expansions are just so happy. (snarl)
    Going in the car? Pack a lunch. Grab water bottles. And plan on being an hour early or an hour late.


  2. We live with the same sorts of inconveniences every spring/summer. It wears on my nerves to never know if I’ll make it to an appointment on time OR if I’ll be re-routed into the next state over. No real advice here. Just sympathy for your predicament.


  3. There are times I honestly think I can’t take it any more. Between accidents that close roads, planned maintenance and expansions that often take multiple years and lately a big attempt to beautify the medians and curbing, I honestly think at times we’d make better time in a covered wagon. I don’t have patience, but I find I’m even more impatient if my husband is driving. His patience with it all irritates me. Traffic doesn’t bring out the best in me! I feel your pain, Kate.


  4. LOL! This is so funny Kate! I know the feelings well – “Will I starve?” Will I have to go to the bathroom? Will I have to walk somewhere to get out of this mess? It is especially agonizing when you have an appointment like I did with an optometrist an hour away. I was stuck so long that they cancelled the appointment. If had been the dentist I might not have minded. Such is life in the fast lane. 🙂


    • I mostly worry about the bathroom. A year or so back the interstate got blocked by either a snowstorm or an accident or both. There were a lot of people who had to spend overnight in their cars. The police tried to evacuate them to a school. I old be nuts. Who would feed the cats?


  5. LOL I just don’t know what to say Kate. Everything you touched on is so true when it comes down to road work. But the way you recounted it, and with such great humor, all I can think to ask is; where, when, and at what time is your next performance at the comedy club. I want a ticket!


  6. Sometimes it’s not being stuck in traffic that’s the problem . . . it’s being stuck in our head thinking thoughts that are adding to our suffering. Much of our self-created suffering stems from the fact that Ego hates to not be in control.

    Perhaps you can use this season as a reason to meditate and practice patience? 😛

    Or memorize poetry?

    This poem, An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, from There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk by Portia Nelson, has circled the globe for years . . . for good reason. It’s a reminder that when we do the same thing, we should expect the same result. It’s a recognition that many “victims” are not as blameless as they would like to believe.

    If we want to change the world, we must first change the thoughts that we think.

    Chapter One

    I walk down the street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I fall in
    I am lost…I am helpless
    It isn’t my fault.
    It takes forever to find a way out.

    Chapter Two

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I pretend I don’t see it.
    I fall in again.
    I can’t believe I am in the same place.
    But, it isn’t my fault.
    It still takes a long time to get out.

    Chapter Three

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I see it is there.
    I still fall in…it’s a habit.
    My eyes are open.
    I know where I am.
    It is my fault.
    I get out immediately.

    Chapter Four

    I walk down the same street.
    There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
    I walk around it.

    Chapter Five

    I walk down another street.

    Nelson, Portia. There’s a Hole in My sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. Beyond Words Publishing Company, 1994. ISBN: 0941831876


  7. Road construction is very frustrating ……….. but they have to be built.
    Road maintenance is frustrating ………… but no maintenance would be worse.
    Should be done overnight ………. but then it would cost more due to O/T.
    Should be done on Sundays ………… same as above.
    Can’t see anybody working …….. doesn’t mean nobody’s working.
    Should schedule multiple jobs better ………. so you want your route done first and other route users can wait?
    Why is it always done in the Spring? What alternative time of year would you suggest?

    Just some thoughts to balance things a little! 🙂


    • They do need better scheduling. Two years ago they took out two bridges over the same river that required people to go way out of their way. They could have a second shift that doesn’t require OT (these are contractors, not locals). If there are no construction people in the area, no one is working except perhaps the guys in the office. There was no concrete curing. Maybe they were waiting for a bridge part. However the real balance is that when the BIG project is done, it will be wonderful (it’s a highway that cuts across town north-south which we don’t have now). It has been in progress at least 3 years and won’t be finished until next year. However, this summer they are starting a huge project on one of the major interstates that people use now to detour the other project. It won’t affect me but there will be bellyaching. Some people feel they should hold off until next year when the OTHER project is completed. I live in an old town in the northeast with narrow streets and inadequate highways. Homes and businesses are built close to the street so any project is hugely expensive and time consuming. Thanks for stopping by and balancing!


  8. Ah yes, the State motto: Road Work ahead. Some have modified it to…Road Work, be prepared to stop. Do you think route 22 will ever be completed? I always feel sorry for the flagman (person) I think it is a dangerous job.


  9. Last night I attended a Roads and Bridges forum for our county. I’ve communicated with but never met the county engineer. He got skewered with a great deal of criticism and very few good comments. Everyone was respectful to him, but they did let him know that the county could be doing a better job of caring for the secondary roads. I particularly liked the one bit of advice from a person I know to be a hard-driving entrepreneur. He said, “I know you have a small window of opportunity to fix roads following a rain, but there are more than 8 hours in a day.” It’s too bad that more folks don’t realize that.


    • We have a state turnpike that goes through the area. For the last (what seems like a decade) several years they have upgraded from 4 lane to 6 lane. There are many overpasses. They did a lot of work at night. Even with that traffic down to the big city was awful. Locally no one works past 3 or maybe even 2:30. I’ve always thought there could be a second shift to get it done faster. Now the potholes are a whole different matter. Last year there was a crater on the road next to Starbucks. They didn’t fix that until the end of June. I was about ready to write a letter to the editor. I could see Chinese people if I peered down the hole!


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