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Phil's Rambling Rants
April 27th, 2004
08:38 pm

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Stupid Construction Zones
The buttheads in the Illinois Department of Transportation really seem to have outdone themselves this time.

For the last week or more, they've had the big programmable signs out on I-74 (conveniently between home and work) warning "Construction starts Apr. 27". So today, we have:

5 miles from the site, warning signs with flashing lights on both the left and right side of the highway: Right lane closed 5 miles ahead.

3 miles away from the site, more flashing lights, right lane closed 3 miles ahead. Programmable sign with a 3 part message I don't remember. Speed limit 55.

2 miles away from the site, more signs.

1 mile from the site, speed limit 45 and one of those "Your speed" autoradars.

1/2 mile from the site, orange barrels in the right lane.

At the site: One square patch of concrete being replaced. The actual work zone is 100' long, tops. Now, it could be that this is just the beginning and they're planning to do more stuff, but (a) there's no sign of any other equipment, no more barrels after that point, etc.; and (b) they just completely rebuilt this stretch of highway 2 years ago and it's probably the best piece of interstate in Illinois, so except for this patch right at this overpass that they skipped when they did the big rebuild, there's nothing else to do.

Now, I can understand that they're concerned about the safety of construction workers, and I don't have a problem with being asked to slow down at a time and place where there actually are workers. I do have a big problem with being asked to slow down because somewhere several miles ahead there were workers 2 hours ago before they knocked off for the day. Telling people to slow down serves both to annoy them, which will make them less cooperative and less safe, and to train them that they don't need to pay attention to those orange signs because there's probably nothing there anyway.

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