Is it just me or do you also feel like you’re driving in the land of terminal road construction or repair?
I’m certain I have a better chance of winning a Lotto Mega Millions Jackpot than ever cruising down Interstate 435 with all its lanes open. It’s like when people talk about building a new airport.
If based on the 435 road construction saga, anyone who’s ever listened to a Low T ad on the radio and thought, “Hmm, maybe this is me” will not live to see the day Kansas City has an airport that doesn’t say “We don’t care if it’s outdated. A big airport scares us and one big terminal would make us walk too far.”
Sorry, but if your one travel goal is to make sure the distance you have to travel by foot from the airport curb to a Southwest gate is as short as possible, perhaps you should stay home.
Oops, didn’t mean to go off on the airport. It just happened.
The point I’m trying to make is that I now love all the road construction. Yep, l love it like a frozen Snickers bar deep fried in funnel cake batter (and, yes, it’s as good as it sounds.)
Furthermore we should be grateful for the many road improvements overtaking our fair city. Bless you, construction workers, for toiling in the heat to eventually make my commute easier. This epiphany occurred last week when I had to drive from KC to Sandusky, Ohio.
Once I entered Buckeye country the roads were horrible, It was alarming and I worried about my tires, suspension and the belly of my car getting a prison-quality beat down. I’m not kidding you; the roads were so rough my car probably needed a sports bra to keep it from bouncing. (Did I just have an idea that could make me millions? Sports bras for the undercarriage of cars. Excuse me while I get a copyright.)
As I was doing the equivalent of hip-hop driving, I was thinking thank goodness I had not voted for Kasich. A couple of friends had told me he would be a great president. But come on, with him as governor of Ohio for 16 years, his state’s roads are horrendous.
Two of my primary determinations for what makes a state great is 1) decent roads and 2) quality Targets.
If the roads are woefully neglected, it speaks to a lack of leadership and future planning. As for Target, well, all I can say is that if a Target reminds you of a Wal-Mart, it’s a red flag for an entire community. Multiple Targets’ that have a Wal-Mart esprit de corps is a state in crisis. (Think about it and then nod your head yes because you know I am right.)
While I was driving/bouncing down the streets in Sandusky, I was wondering why there hasn’t been a citizen revolt. To be factual, there was some road construction going on, but it seemed to be more of the asphalt overlay variety, and not the more hard-core ripping out and starting over.
As luck would have it, and because I’m a very curious person, I struck up a conversation with a 62-year-old road construction worker at the McDonald’s.
I asked him what’s the deal with the horrible road quality and he, while throwing back a 32-ounce ice tea, began a saga of concrete politics that was so multi-layered with graft (and possibly executions) that I could see it as a movie. After hearing his story I’m surprised any roads at all get built and that we’re not all driving on dirt or gravel.
Bottom line: The next time you’re cursing the orange road barrels or sighing over the lack of three lanes on I-435, or, ugh, having to merge down to one lane yet again, roll down your car window, blow a kiss to a construction worker and remind yourself that continued road maintenance means your state loves you. After that, say a prayer of thanks that you don't live in Sandusky.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.