Monday, June 27, 2016

Give 'Em A Brake!

I’m sure I’m not alone in my dislike of construction zones. But since I drive over 700 miles a day, I probably despise it more than the average person. They slow me down, making my day longer. Especially, this year.

There are currently seven construction zones on my route, with the speed limit reduced to 50 mph. That may not sound like a lot and I’m continually told by construction types that they only slow me down for a few minutes and then I can be on my way. That is true. But the problem is I don’t just make one pass through. So for me, it becomes a little more protracted. I make two round trips through each of these zones. That means the seven construction zones have become 28. That’s how many times I have to slow down and I usually wait behind traffic about half of the time. It generally adds an hour, or more, to my day. You can see why construction is one of my many pet peeves.

It helps to keep a sense of humor—otherwise, I’d just be upset all the time. Thankfully, the level of intelligence of those in charge of said construction makes that fairly easy. For instance, one day this past week, I was chugging along down he road when I noticed the dreaded familiar orange signs in the distance—more construction! Yay! Like the seven I had already weren’t enough. Wondering what they had decided to “fix” now, I kept driving—like I really had a choice in the matter; this is the only road I can use in this particular area.

The first sign I passed was a lighted reader board that advised me the left lane was closed two miles ahead. Okay, that’s no big deal. There are two lanes on the freeway after all. I’m driving a slow truck and usually stay in the right lane anyway. But then, not more than a half-mile further, I see a sign that says right lane closed ahead.

So, of course, I’m driving along thinking that someone messed up. Obviously, one of the signs was wrong. But which one? Figuring I’d take a wait-and-see approach, I kicked off my cruise at the 50 mph sign and continued on, a little amused by it all.

And then, rounding the next corner, I’m greeted by this:

Really? I thought. Both lanes are now closed for construction? I guess that wouldn’t surprise me considering the convoluted methods they sometimes use. But almost immediately, I knew it couldn’t be. I was traveling on a busy freeway and if both lanes were indeed close ahead, I felt pretty confident I would have already been in the resulting traffic backup—and I wasn’t.

By this time, I can see the orange and white barrels ahead, lined up down the shoulders. Yep, BOTH shoulders. And then I saw the workers. Well, two of them. They were standing on the side of the road, engaged in what appeared to be quite an animated discussion, oblivious to the traffic whizzing by. Both were shouting (I assume, since I couldn’t really hear them inside the truck but their lips were moving rapidly and their red faces going through all sorts of contortions), both were shaking their heads forcefully, and they were wildly gesturing, pointing in what looked like all directions. I got the distinct impression there had been some miscommunication somewhere along the line. A miscommunication that had for the moment left both lanes OPEN! That worked for me! Except that meant I’d had to slow down to 50 mph for nothing. But that was okay. Just this once anyway. It had allowed me a better view and a little more time to enjoy the show as I passed.

The entertaining diversion didn’t last long though. By my next trip through, they had figured it out—at least I think they had. There still were no lanes shut down but the signs had been changed. They now read, “Shoulder Work Ahead.” But that may have had nothing to do with any construction. It might have simply been to allow the workers to finish their argument in relative safety. ~

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.


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