Construction, people and traffic jams

For the past month, there’s been construction going on at the American Legion Memorial Bridge. I use it everyday to get to and from work. They’ve closed a lane on the right side, and that’s a huge inconvenience. So much traffic goes over that bridge every day, particularly during rush hour, that the single lane closure backs traffic up for several miles, all the way to Route 66.

Since no notice was given of the nature of the work, I thought they might be building an additional lane. But no, all they’re doing is cleaning and painting the bridge. It turns out that one lane’s going to be closed for 6-12 months, causing huge traffic delays for everyone. I have to file this one under really poor planning. For a road that important, they should have built a platform underneath the bridge and put the machines over there instead of inconveniencing everyone above with their work.

Things wouldn’t be so bad except for the rubbernecking delays. Everyone wants to look at the loud machines and the construction workers. They’re a sight to be sure, the machines noisy, big and smelly, and the workers sunburnt and stained all over with muck and grime — but that doesn’t excuse the traffic delays.

If some sort of wall were put in place to separate the construction work from the passing cars, people wouldn’t have anything to look at, and traffic would go much faster. But that wouldn’t be in character with the poor planning shown by blocking the full lane in the first place, would it? So my commute time (and that of tens of thousands of other people) is doubled, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, since there is no other route we can take.


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