Slow Road Home

There are essentially two seasons in Minnesota. No, not summer and winter. Logical guesses, yes, but incorrect. Pothole and Road Construction season. This past pothole season was fairly mild, running from late November until end February. A typical Pothole season will result in an abundance of hubcaps littering the sides of roads after being dislodged by teeth-shattering, often small car swallowing holes in varying depths and widths. The Honda swallowers are best avoided even by larger SUVs. The change in seasons has been more subtle this year, probably because the potholes have been slow to heal… The asphalt that is packed into these holes to soften their blows lasted a few weeks but has once again become dislodged, revealing the potholes for any unsuspecting driver.

We’re now in the throes of Road Construction season.


The geniuses at MnDot have strategically begun Road Construction season on every major artery in the Minneapolis/St Paul area. Every.major.road. There are no routes that haven’t been touched by these hard-hatted workers with large steel machines, marred with reflective orange construction barrels, absurdly narrow lanes that shift left only to shift back to right 25 feet further down the road, then back again.

My route to work is scheduled for a major overhaul starting this coming week. In this day of age, it’s difficult to imagine a major artery only 2 lanes wide each direction, but that’s what Highway 100 is for stretch that lasts several miles. Over the next 6 months, the intrepid MnDot workers (actually, their contract workers) will be adding another lane on each side. While this should help to ease the congestion ever so slightly come snowfall, the fact is that the time between now and then is going to be maddening. It’s deja vu, all over again. A stretch of the same highway further north was updated only a few short years ago.

Unfortunately, even when it’s done, the “new improved” road will be severely outdated – this construction project was initially planned 20+ years ago. The number of vehicles that travel this route is significantly higher than the original MnDot projections.

I’m already contemplating my alternate routes home. Unfortunately, there aren’t many choices available. And I suspect that my fellow travelers are thinking the same thing… so the trip will be longer and slower than normal. Time to make up several mix CDs that can keep me entertained in the car for long stretches of time.

Maybe I should take this as a sign from above to find a job closer to home or located along a bus route….

I like that idea best.