Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Doing lines...or doing time?

That's what the DOT (Department of Transportation) was doing today on Hwy 21 between Springer and Cimarron!  I have to say that I appreciated finally having lines painted on the highway, even though SE bound lane was naked on the right side for most of the way.  It really does make a difference when someone is coming at you in the pitch black night at 40 - 45 mph, canceling out your own headlights, and there isn't even a line on the road to look for to make sure you aren't going to end up in the ditch.  So, hooray for lines!

Our newly resurfaced (not paved) highway is a mockery of government.  I don't really want to go political with this, but the story is pretty pathetic.  According to some of the locals, the gravel has been sitting alongside the highway for a couple of years.  I am not sure if this was creative budgeting or if DOT didn't get the memo that their gravel arrived.  Either way, the gravel has been stationed along the highway for a couple of years.  At the end of summer, the resurfacing began, which was noted in earlier posts by the chaotic commute and the chips in my windshield.  The highway, as Tom tells it, is basically a cracked up strip of concrete resurfaced time and time again.  Did the guys working on the highway do anything about the potholes or the crumbling edges?  Nah....they just resurfaced them.  So the pothole looks really nice with its new finish....and the bindweed and grass is growing up through the gravel and tar, proving it was there first and won't give up so easily. 

During the rain storms we have had since the resurfacing, one can hydroplane in the trenches in the highway.

Amusingly enough, the DOC (Department of Corrections) was out with the local prisoners filling in potholes within a month of the resurfacing.  I am not sure what that says about the system or the quality of the job, but the theme is "criminal".  It just seems ludicrous to spend tax dollars on a poorly resurfaced road, so poorly resurfaced that the prisoners are out filling holes within a month.  At least if the holes would have been patched before the resurfacing, they would be less likely to experience the freeze and thaw cycle that will get into the cracks of the layers and pit out the potholes all over again. 

Or maybe I am just cynical....

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