Friday, February 13, 2009

A Shovel Ready Rant

Lately I have been hearing and reading so much about the crumbling roads and bridges, the decaying infrastructure. This makes no sense to me at all. Why do radio traffic reporters need to remind me to add 30 minutes of travel time due to road construction more often than not? In fact it seems as if the Chicago area roads are always under construction even when they don’t seem to need repair. Isn’t it odd how that works?

Which is worse a road so choppy it makes you reduce your speed or orange barrels that cause mile long backups? Ever notice that those lane closure barricades, infoboards and construction speed zone $375. penalty signs seem to go up a month before the workers and equipment bother to show up?

Recently our decaying infrastructure has made a lot of news. Consider the roads and bridges around the greater Chicago metropolitan area.

Within the past six years I-94 has been rebuilt completely from the Wisconsin border all the way east past Gary, IN. and expanded to five lanes in most areas. To accommodate the extra lanes in both directions all the bridges had to be reconstructed.

The Chicago Skyway and Indiana Toll Road have both been sold to private investors. Just last year the total reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago was complete including most bridges and overpasses. That one took four years and made it harder to get to and from Chicago White Sox games. The city and state also hauled in a revenue bonanza by handing out tens of thousands of construction zone speeding violations, a $410. fine when court and clerk costs are added. Do the math.

Locals say Chicago has only two seasons, winter and “road under construction”.

When politicians along with their media lap dogs repeatedly tell me that billions are needed to replace our “decaying infrastructure” it makes my brain hurt and my engine overheat.

This thing they call stimulus is worse than pork, it’s staring down a charging 300 lb. wild hog with sharp fangs and all we have is a pea shooter.

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